Writers: Matthew T. Price & Kelly Morr
Stars: Lauren Lakis, Mercedes Manning, Lianna Liew, Melanie Friedrich, Sam Schweikert, Megan Hui, Carson Nicely
The story told through a non-linear time line and it works better for it. Working on a dating app, a team of coders and assorted IT geeks are trying to get the app ready for launch, the app takes note of ALL your online imprint (a scary thought, no?) and hooks you up with your perfect partner – your Other Half but the only problem is that the app makes people lose any inhibition or self control…
There is a lot of purposeful subversion in Other Halves, some of it is pretty pointed satire but some of it comes off as ‘look-how-clever-I-am’ writing (that being said it is still clever just unnecessary). The writing is witty and the dialogue is great, capturing the tech talk but marrying it with a fair bit of comedic work, even if it is black. Other Halves subverts a lot of the horror tropes and it is in this that the film has some fun but also where it gets a bit too clever. Nudity is (or was or always will be) a big part of horror films, generally for gratuitous purposes, in Other Halves it is almost ignored or if not ignored just accepted. Two girls shower in a communal shower talking about the app totally nude – as you do, a good looking guy walks around shirtless for the majority of his role (hell, a character even calls him Manic Pixie Dream Man!). With the male being the eye candy, the girls nude scene seemed superfluous to the subverting subtext.
The acting in Other Halves is all very solid, Lauren Lakis in particular brings a natural feel to her role, it is almost like you’ve seen her in a hundred films before her which helps you connect with her character. Price keeps the things interesting through different angles and lighting – some sequences are washed with just one colour – and it all works together nicely. Despite the film not really being ‘scary’ per se there are some moments of tension that are created in the films build up to the climax but it loses its way just a little, lessening the impact.
With all the online dating (including the apps that are basically just hook up apps and have nothing to do with actual dating) this is a pretty timely film, in that it absolutely plays on the fact that you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, when you are swiping right, sending kisses or whatever the hell it is that you do. I see Other Halves as more a satire with a horror edge and there is nothing wrong with that. It is well written and for a small budget film looks fantastic. It’s certainly worth a look and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Price and Morr.