Road Rash Reviews

Blank Digital Release Review****-

Cert 15 | 94 mins | 2023

4 Star

Locked, Blocked and a Deadline.

Two new talents come together in writer Stephen Herman, and director Natalie Kennedy, who bring us a near future thriller that will have you locked into the story of Claire Rivers (Rachel Shelley, The L Word (TV Series), Deep State (TV Series)) a notable writer who has hit a brick wall, as far as writing her new book. She has debts and an agent on her heels to meet the publisher’s deadline. How will she triumph? Watch and see.

Claire stands in her front room dictating to the computer the start of her new book, but it isn’t happening. She is plagued by her agent who suggests going to a retreat, to help with the writer’s block. She books herself into ‘the retreat’ out in the middle of nowhere.

Claire arrives to a huge automatic door. As she enters the dark, quiet building she is greeted by Henry (Wayne Brady, Whose Line Is It Anyway? (TV Series), Let’s Make a Deal (TV Series)) a holographic-concierge. He welcomes her to her thirty-day stay. He also tells her that her personal android ‘Rita’ (Heida Reed, Poldark (TV Series), One Day) will look after her and help her finish her book.

Claire settles in, with Rita doing the unpacking, but she isn’t allowed to touch her trusty ‘Underwood’ typewriter. To get the feel of the place, she goes for a jog, and finds that the retreat is truly in the middle of nowhere. She heads back for a shower and a sit down and plays chess with Henry.

The next morning, she is woken by the bright sunlight coming through the window. It is day one out of thirty, and Henry tries to help her get into the mood of writing, telling her the neurological link often opens up pathways to help find a story. It isn’t long before Claire is seeing images of a young girl (Annie Cusselle) and a blind woman (Rebecca-Clare Evans, How to Kill Monsters, In Another Life), these images overwhelm Claire, and she has to remove the link. Henry informs Claire that Rita is fully in charge of unit two. The next thing, Claire notices that Rita spends five minutes inactive. Henry tells her that Rita is receiving updates to her system so she can serve you better. Claire continues her routine, but to no avail, she keeps seeing events with the young girl and the blind woman, but the words do not flow onto the paper on the typewriter, even after a week.

One night, whilst kicking back with Henry, a siren sounds and the light turns red.

It turns out that it is a Malware attack that is not localized, as Claire manages to get a glimpse of a news broadcast before it all goes black. She gets a brief message from Henry saying that the system will reboot, and he won’t be available until the reboot has been successful.

Next morning, Claire is not rudely awakened by the sharp sunlight of a bright morning, There is no sign of Henry, so she prepares for her morning run, but finds that the hand activated door won’t open. Rita welcomes Claire to the first day of her thirty-day stay, and that her handprint has been removed from the file, and only she can open the door.

I can’t open the door until your work is completed.

What occurs next is a battle of wits versus neural-processors, as unit two becomes a nightmarish ‘Groundhog day’. Blank is a great piece of writing and some swell innovative use of the camera. Also, Heida Reed as Rita really gets into her part once the confrontation begins. Will Claire get her project finished, or will she remain in the locked and sealed unit two?

It is said, that everybody has at least one book inside them, you just don’t know what it will take to bring it out.

Blank is available on Digital from the 8th of January


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DirectorNatalie Kennedy
GenreDrama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
StarringRachel Shelley, Heida Reed, Wayne Brady, Annie Cusselle, Rebecca-Clare Evans