Kiah Roache-Turner’s newest film NEKROTRONIC feels like a live-action comic book.
The film follows cynical and sardonic sewer worker Howard North and his journey of self-discovery. After his friend downloads a new “ghost hunter” game, Howard is thrown into a wild, high-tech war between demons and demon hunters…and learns that he is the key to humanity’s survival.
NEKROTRONIC‘s plot is a familiar one: a hapless orphan discovers that he has supernatural abilities, that his parents were also powerful, and that he plays a pivotal role in the battle between good and evil. The characters in the film are also familiar. We have an older (male) guide-figure who dies early on; two experienced demon hunters, one of whom is snarky and tough to please, while the other is more encouraging; a sexy, evil overlord who just happens to be the protagonist’s long-lost mother; and a wise-cracking best friend.
Although NEKROTRONIC follows certain action films tropes to a T, it does have a completely original element.
The film’s demons have all been converted from physical beings to spirits that exist in the digital realm. And they are able to access and corrupt humans through their devices, like smart phones. In order to fight the demons, the demon hunters, called Necromancers, have invented a machine that “3-D prints” digital demons, bringing them into the physical world and rendering them vulnerable to the Necromancers’ weapons.
NEKROTRONIC follows a familiar formula, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, the pattern of the hero’s journey has been used by authors and filmmakers time and again for a reason: it’s effective and evocative. To spice up the plot, Roache-Turner offers cool, neon-tinged special effects, action sequences that pack a punch, cheeky humor, and just enough pathos to keep the audience invested during its 99-minute runtime.
Although parts of the movie drag on for longer than they should, and even though some might find the plot too formulaic for their liking, NEKROTRONIC is a fun movie to watch. It doesn’t push any sort of agenda beyond enslaving the human race is wrong and it doesn’t include a ton (actually any) religious imagery for a flick about demons. And it features not one, but three smart, capable women who kick ass and take names.
All in all, it’s an unpretentious sci-fi/horror/action movie that achieves what it tries to do: entertain its audience. It’s the kind of movie you turn on to watch when you need to escape the never-ending cycle of news about corruption, environmental catastrophe, and mass shootings that politicians are paid to ignore.
Everyone needs a distraction like this—which is why NEKROTRONIC is a great late-summer film. NEKROTRONIC will arrive in select theaters and HD Digital August 9, 2019.