Thursday 4 January 2024

REVIEW: Blank (2022 Film) - Starring Rachel Shelley and Heida Reed - (2024 UK Release)

UPDATE: Sparky Pictures, in association with Templeheart Films and Kenmore Films, have announced that Sci-Fi thriller Blank will be coming to UK Digital Download from 8th January, 2024. Apple TV -

Review by Jon Donnis
Take a look at the three posters for this film that I have conveniently put side by side for you. If you only looked at the posters, you would think these were three different films. The first one (red), would describe some kind of Terminator like film. The second one (white) kind of looks like a coming of age feminist type film, and the third one (blue) is probably the most accurate one of the three, but also the most boring one.

So we are back again with a film that has AI going wrong, Blank stars Rachel Shelley as Claire Rivers, Claire is a writer suffering from writer's block, as she looks at blank pages (blank hence the name of the film), she is having to put up with pressure from her agent and bills that need to be paid, but without a finished book, she finds herself stuck.

Claire decides to do what all writers do when they face writers block, she decides to go to a creepy futuristic retreat with AI and Robots. What could possibly go wrong?

Upon entering the house, she is met first by a holographic Wayne Brady, who she later names Henry. He explains how the retreat works, and introducers Claire to the robot called Rita (Heida Reed). She is there to take care of Claire's every need, so she can relax and get those brain juices flowing.

Just when you think everything is fine, it seems that there is a worldwide malware/virus attack. And before you know it Rita has locked all of the doors in the house, which also strangely has bullet proof glass windows, and Rita keeps resetting every day, and won't let Claire leave until the book is finished.

Throw in flashback scenes from Claire's childhood which show some very strange childhood trauma. A more and more messed up Rita as the film progresses, and Wayne Brady popping up every so often, and we have an interesting if slightly unoriginal film. 

At 92 minutes before credits, the film feels slightly long, and I wonder if this would have been a better film if made as a one-off TV episode as part of Black Mirror or some other anthology type show with a much shorter run time, maybe even as short as an hour. I say that because this is a low budget film, and as such the longer a film is, the more you may have to stretch things out, where you might usually use visual effects to distract the viewer.

The Good
Strong performances from Rachel Shelley and Heida Reed carry the film, and it is always fun to see Wayne Brady appear.

The Bad
AI goes wrong, person gets trapped, it is unoriginal, and if you don't have the budget then perhaps stay away from this kind of sci fi film.

Blank is a decent film, but suffers from a low budget and longish run time. Strong performances from the two female leads helps raise the film up to a slightly better level than what the story alone does.

I score Blank a fair 6.5/10

Out now on Digital.
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