A prostitute wakes up in a small dark room, gagged, and a strange device is surgically implanted at the base of her skull. She’s part of an experiment. She doesn’t know why, she doesn’t know what the experiment is, but she knows she needs to escape. Her jailor is Tau, an artificial intelligence responsible for maintaining the experiment, the lab, and the subjects there-in. That’s all you need to know.
Hitting Netflix with only a little fanfare, “Tau” is a small sci-fi film with Maika Monroe (“It Follows”) and Ed Skrein (“Deadpool”) comprise the majority of the film’s cast with Gary Oldman (“The Fifth Element”) providing his voice to the titular character of Tau. Perhaps the greatest challenge for a film like Tau is that it’s following so closely on the heels of the similar “Ex Machina” in terms of set-up. Monroe interacts with the A.I., a cold-hearted creator tries to control the experiment, and the film is isolated to these few characters throughout most of the run-time. And those who dismiss the film on those surface comparisons are going to miss out on something special, as Tau carves itself a separate path with the journey of these characters.
The stakes lead into horror territory, the leads certainly have different goals, and Tau is NOT the object of this experiment. The film moves at a brisk pace and won’t disappoint devotees of the sci-fi/horror genre.
7 out of 10. Recommended.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
The Drac Pack is back with a summer vacation spin, transporting Dracula, Mavis, and Johnny aboard a luxury cruise for Monsters. The families are there to rest and relax with one another, but Dracula suddenly has eyes for the human Ship’s Captain. Ericka certainly has an interest in Dracula as well, but it’s not quite the same. Shenanigans, a couple of musical ditties, a devious cyborg, battling DJ’s, and bizarre fishmen run roughshod throughout the 3-D animated film.
It was okay.
5 out of 10 and a mild recommend.