Good science fiction asks us to consider the answer to a very simple question: What if? Sometimes the question is complex and philosophical, and other times it’s basic. But always it makes you ask yourself the question. The new science fiction film Blank is no exception. In its case the question is, what if the technology we rely on to make our lives easier has a glitch? And instead of helping us, traps us?
Writer Claire Rivers (Rachel Shelley) is desperate. She’s missed multiple deadlines with her publisher, yet she’s unable to find the words to start her new novel. Her agent suggests going on a retreat to a AI controlled house in the middle of nowhere. There, her only companions are a hologram and an android. Upon arriving it seems like a dream come true, where all of her whims are attended to. But after a virus infects the system things take a turn for the worse. She becomes a prisoner in the house, and told she won’t be able to leave until she completes her work. Unfortunately time is ticking, as supplies are quickly running out, and Claire’s case of writer’s block doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
In a way, Blank is a lot like Stephen King’s novel Misery. Even the way the antagonist criticizes Claire’s work when she considers it subpar is similar. Thankfully that’s where the comparison ends, and the film goes its own way after that. Rachel Shelley plays Claire as introverted and cold. And while she comes off as being some what clueless at times, she still manages to keep you invested in her plight. Considering she’s the main character, and the one who is on screen the majority of the time, the audience really needs to like her.
Really though it’s the story that needs to draw you in. Blank does that for the majority of the film. But it feels a little too long and could have played out better as an hour long episode of the Twilight Zone instead. The film also has several plot holes that drag it down. And it goes down rabbit holes that it could have avoided (such as the scenes that are visualizing Claire’s writing). Still, the film manages to entertain and you want to know what it all ends.
Blank is one of those films that has some fun, enjoyable scenes, and others that make you question what the creators were thinking. On the whole it’s worth watching, as long as you don’t expect too much from it.