Eileen (Sara Mitich) is dreaming. A strange, hazy dream involving her and her young daughter Eve (Evie Loiselle) on a sunny beach. While Eve plays in the sand, she sings “Life is but a dream”. And the dream is interspersed with violent visions of Eileen facing off against heavily armed soldiers in some kind of dimly lit warehouse.
When Eileen wakes from her dream, she finds herself in a strange-looking room with no idea how she got there. With no windows or doors, there is a table in front of Eileen, on top of which sits a pencil. A female voice heard from a ceiling speaker then tells Eileen that she must complete a test within the allotted time and that test is to move the pencil. The room turns red and a screen embedded in the wall then fills with squares which start to disappear one by one, indicating a countdown. Oh, and Eileen is also informed that if she does not complete the test within the allotted time, then her daughter will die.
A very disorientated and woozy Eileen manages to get up and make the few steps needed to get to the table and complete the task, only to receive some kind of shock to the brain which sends her back to sleep and the dream, or maybe it’s a flashback, of her on the beach with her family. When Eileen next wakes up, she’s back in the chair and the pencil is back on the table, but this time when given the task of moving the pencil, she discovers that she is strapped to the chair. From there the tasks continue to get harder, with Eileen being put to sleep after each one. Occasionally, she wakes to find there’s no task to complete and some kind of green gloop has been left for her to eat. Eventually, I did start to wonder about the lack of toilet facilities within the room…
And then Eileen wakes to find that her husband Roger (George Tchortov) is in the room with her. He also has no idea why he’s there and when it comes to completing the next task, they learn that it’s only Eileen that is allowed to complete it.
The introduction of another character gives things a much-needed boost but after a while, we still don’t know a great deal more about the couple or their situation. It’s clear that the tests are designed to unlock psychic abilities within Eileen but the constant test, sleep, eat, repeat, interspersed with a bit of talking, introspection and eventual bickering between them, starts to derail what was initially a very interesting setup. So when the action eventually kicks in, it is certainly a welcome distraction. That is until the same action sequence is essentially repeated another couple of times in straight succession, but with some very minor tweaks here and there. The ending, while introducing some interesting ideas and resolutions to the story, also felt a little underwhelming.
Signature Entertainment presents Control on Digital Platforms 26th September
Web developer by day, with a movie and TV watchlist that continues to grow as much as my spare time reduces! My favourite movie is Inception and, despite what everyone says, I do not have a man-crush on Tom Cruise.