Sensation is a 2021 sci-fi thriller from Slovakian director Martin Grof, the latest in a long line of films to feature people with superhuman abilities. The plot here focuses on a group of people with newly discovered sensory powers that can influence and control the senses of others, as they’re confined within a large manor estate for special training. Sound familiar? X-Men, Kingsmen and no doubt countless other films have featured similar situations and unfortunately for Sensation, they’ve all done it much better.
Sensation stars Eugene Simons as Andrew (most well known as Lancel Lannister in Game of Thrones), a postman trying to discover his family history only to discover he has hidden superhuman and extrasensory powers when pursued by Dr Daniel Marinus (Alastair G. Cumming). Marinus coerces and inducts Andrew into a top-secret research facility located with a manor estate run by Nadia (Emily Wyatt). Here Andrew meets a number of others with the same abilities taking part in the same training program. Through training from Nadia and the mysteriously powerful May (Jennifer Martin), Andrew and the others discover that as well as being able to control the senses of others, they also possess the ability to receive information based on their senses. However, after being put through increasingly bizarre scenarios, Andrew begins to struggle with his situation.
On paper, the plot for this sounds fairly intriguing and promising. Yes, it may not be entirely original, but if done right this could’ve made for a fairly refreshing new take on superhuman abilities. However, sadly Sensation has been so poorly executed that there’s virtually nothing redeemable about it at all. The biggest issues are the poor, clunky script and the most horrific acting on offer from all involved. There seems to be two main types of acting on offer – overacting to the point of parody and cold, wooden and emotionless to the point of virtual facial paralysis – neither of which work and are almost unbearable to watch no matter who is on screen although Alastair G. Cumming’s Dr Marinus is probably the most memorably bad of all.
The plot is also done a huge disservice. Instead of being an appealing sci-fi, it is instead a confusing mess in which the story and character motivations make no sense whatsoever. There is little character development or background either, even for Andrew as the main protagonist, and this leads us to care very little about his predicament as it unfolds. The training and the entire situation in the manor is entirely confused and leaves a lot of gaps and questions. While a plot reveal in the final act attempts to make some sense out of what we’ve seen so far, this fails too as while it partly explains some of the queries over earlier events, it also raises yet more questions over what on earth is going on. There’s a fine line between mysteriously unexplained and nonsensical, and I’m afraid Sensation is definitely sitting on the latter end of the scale.
There are some minor redeeming points, as the overall look and style of the film has been done fairly well and the score too is rather dramatic and appropriate, however unfortunately these aren’t enough to help this recover into something that is in any way enjoyable.
Sensation will be available on Digital Download from 16th April
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A contract manager moonlighting as a rather discerning film and book critic, with an almost fangirl appreciation for anything made by Christopher Nolan. When I’m not catching up on my latest read or watch, you can usually find me trying out my amateur baking skills – Bake Off here I come!