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The Scribbler

2014 / 88m - USA
Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller
The Scribbler poster

Superhero films are hot property these days. Marvel elevated its niche to become one of the industry's most impressive strongholds, DC Comics is desperately trying to take a piece of the pie. On the indie side there's been a rise in superhero films featuring geeky main characters faking their superhero-dom (Super, Defendor, Griff the Invisible). The problem is that both scenes are doing little in the way of innovation. It's basically the same film told over and over again.

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The Scribbler offers a rather novel take on the whole superhero concept. There are no capes or costumes, no evil supervillains, no lame love interests ... or maybe there are, but completely twisted and mangled as to make it virtually unrecognizable. If you look at the bare facts then The Scribbler is indeed a superhero film, but while watching the film it never feels like one.

The vibe coming from The Scribbler reminded me of films like One Point O and Ink. Low-budget movies with an intriguing concept that bet heavily on an expressive audiovisual image in order to stand out from the crowd. Even though the technical and financial limitations are impossible to miss, the styling more than makes up for it. But judging from the critiques, The Scribbler (and like-minded films like Kite) has a hard time selling itself. It seems this kind of cinema is slowly going out of fashion.

The plot follows Suki, a young women suffering from multiple personalities. An experimental new treatment is killing off her personalities one by one, slowly getting her back to normal. When she finally starts to feel better she is sent to a closed off apartment building, a place that functions as gateway between the world of the mentally insane and the regular folk. It's there that things start to take a turn for the worse. When people around Suki start dying in droves, The Scribbler, Suki's final excess personality, takes over.

There's a noirish atmosphere running underneath that's not quite unlike Sin City, but with touches of neo-goth and more outspoken scifi elements. The soundtrack is a little underwhelming for a film like this, but visually there's plenty to like. At the end of the film it does start to fall a part just a little, with an over reliance on mediocre CG and a rather poorly choreographed duel, but by then I was already quite pleased with what I'd seen.

Suit's film is not without faults, it's not even the best in its league, but it offers a welcome refresh of the superhero genre. The film looks great, has plenty of innovative touches and doesn't outstay its welcome. The finale is a little lacking and the score could and should have been a bit better, but it's definitely a fun diversion when you've gone through all the usual suspects.


2020 / 92m - Canada
Sci-fi, Action
Breach poster

This felt like a throwback to the sci-fi cinema of the 80s/90s. Bruce Willis getting stuck on a spaceship where an alien life form takes over its human hosts sure sounds a lot like an Alien franchise extension. Director Suits was smart enough though to diversify its homage material, so at least it feels like more like a revival than a rip-off.

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Noah is a stowaway on the last flight out of Earth. Our planet is doomed and humanity has found a new home in outer space, but not everyone can make the jump. Noah works as a janitor, but then a parasite escapes and starts killing people and Noah will have to defend the ship with his life if he wants mankind to have a chance to survive.

Performances are mediocre, the ship looks a bit shabby and the plot is very basic, but it's been a long time since I've seen one of these aliens in space flicks. It's surely not the best in its class, but it's enjoyable enough and the pacing is pretty solid, so it's over before you know it. Not great, but entertaining.


2019 / 91m - USA
3022 poster

A basic genre flick that recycles a lot of familiar sci-fi ideas and doesn't add much of its own. People are stuck in space, their life support is running out and communications with Earth are cut. It's not a horrible film, but chances are that you've seen this before, executed more skillfully. If you're starving for some space sci-fi though, it's not a bad choice.