Film Review: S.U.M.1 [Fantasia 2017]

In the future Earth has been attacked by aliens known as the Nonsuch and driven into underground bunkers. People can live their entire lives and never see the surface. Private S.U.M.1 (Iwan Rheon GAME OF THRONES) is about to get his chance as he begins his 100 day assignment at a remote outpost where he is the solitary occupant. It’s not long after he gets there and falls into a dull repetitive routine that he begins to wonder what happened to his predecessor, why he never sees any signs of the enemy, and most troubling, why the few humans he encounters are so reluctant to go to safety in the bunkers. He begins to suspect a conspiracy.

S.U.M.1 wants to deal with the effects of isolation, boredom and paranoia but sadly really only produces boredom. The film reuses the same footage over and over to depict how monotonous and regimented his existence is, it quickly becomes just as tedious for us. This is basically a one man show until near the end when another human, Mac (André Hennicke PANDORUM) shows up. Rheon is a good actor but the script isn’t nearly strong enough to sustain endless scenes of him talking to a friendly rat that shares his dwelling.

Using names like “The Nonsuch” and S.U.M.1 don’t help either with their stunning lack of subtly. The film’s look is also full of visual touches that scream dystopia, it’s all very heavy handed and obvious. This would have worked better as a short or even an episode of an hour long anthology show but at feature length it drags badly. This was one of the lesser films to play Fantasia 2017.


Author: Jim Morazzini

A horror fan since childhood, Jim loves all manner of horror, science fiction, fantasy and general exploitation. Writer of reviews, aspiring film maker, gym rat, and tattoo aficionado. Currently stranded on the Canadian prairie where there's nothing else to do but consume horror and beer in large quantities.

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