Runtime: 119 minutes
Director: Eric Demeusy
Writer: Eric Demeusy
Stars: Ryan Mason, Highdee Kuan, Christian Prentice, Shaw Jones, and Don Scribner
By Morgan Roberts
What if you were abducted by aliens and no one believed you? But then, in your attempt for redemption and for others to believe, you find that you may not be alone after all. That is the premise for the indie sci-fi thriller “Proximity” (2020).
Isaac (Ryan Mason), a NASA scientist, is working on two projects: one for tracking signals of satellites and the other is himself. Encouraged by his therapist, Isaac starts keeping a video diary. One day, while out merely filming in nature, Isaac sees a commotion and follows it. The commotion turns out to be extraterrestrials.
When Isaac returns to “normal,” he is almost haunted by his experience but finds that he has video proof of it. When he turns it over, in the age of the internet, he is immediately lambasted and ridiculed, with many assuming it to be fake. While in exile, he learns that there are other people like him. One such person is Sara (Highdee Kuan) whom Isaac begins to have feelings for. During their quest for the truth of what happened to them, Sara and Isaac meet hacker Zed (Christian Prentice) who helps the pair crack the code – get it? I had to add a pun.
“There is no denying that this film is ambitious. But there are times especially with the direction of the plot that the film seems to be biting off more than it can chew…“Proximity” has some missteps but is ultimately saved by its performances and phenomenal score.”
The first half of the film has a very “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977) feel. It heavily focuses on the belief (and disbelief) of extraterrestrial life. The second half of the film takes a hard right turn into a conspiracy theory. If this aspect had been added towards the beginning of the film, it would have brought better cohesion to the film.
There is no denying that this film is ambitious. But there are times especially with the direction of the plot that the film seems to be biting off more than it can chew. Having a sci-fi film that leads down a giant conspiracy theory corridor and then finding a way to wedge a love story in the middle of it started to dilute the good parts of the film.
For one, Mason gives a really great performance. Kuan is equally captivating in her performance. Meanwhile, Prentice provides comedic relief when it is much needed. Additionally, the score by Jermaine Stegall is truly incredible. I was making notes about that score throughout the film.
While there are some really big risks taken in this film, not all of them pan out. With all of its ambition, “Proximity” has some missteps but is ultimately saved by its performances and phenomenal score.
Signature Entertainment presents Proximity on Digital HD from May 18th