It certainly isn’t hard to sympathise with Oz (Williamson) in Graham Skipper’s Sequence Break. Oz understands the digital world and electronics, in particular the repair of arcade games. When he is fixing these machines things are simple. It’s the human interaction part of life that he struggles with, Oz isn’t a total reculse but he just keeps to himself. Enter Tess (Therese), a nice, bubbly, geek-pop-culture-dream-girl. Tess and Oz hit it off after Tess approaches Oz in a bar and he reluctantly begins to talk. Oz and Tess have an instant connection and they just ‘get’ each other.
When a mysterious arcade game arrives in the shop, Oz begins to fix it. The game however is not quite what it seems and here is where things get sexy…um no I mean weird…ok weird and sexy – if arcade games are your kink. As Oz plays the game, the button go from hard plastic to squishy, juicy objects of lust. Much like human interactions there are plenty of fluids in the mix at the end of Oz and the machines coupling. As Oz becomes seduced by the machine, he begins to hallucinate and things get even weirder.
Skipper has mixed a romance story with body horror and for the most part it works. There is a clear message in the film but if you don’t want to delve into that, it is also a pretty great body horror flick with the requisite (and exquisite) gooey scenes. The film has some really crazy moments and it shines during these parts. Williamson and Therese are really good together managing to work well within the confines of their under explored characters.
It is very tempting to go inside, to become insular. You may have big plans and dreams but the temptation is there to stay in a place that is comfortable but you’ll go nowhere. This is what I think Sequence Break is about – smashing that pattern that has been created, through inaction or indifference. It’s easier and far less scary to say will never happen because I can’t do it, rather than putting it all on the line and following through on what you want to do. Its about having something to fight for, a motivation when doing for yourself isn’t enough. Sequence Break really spoke to me on that and its great when a film (even one about getting busy with a machine) can make you think.
Sequence Break is available on Shudder May 26th
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78