Having its World Premiere yesterday at the Chattanooga Film Festival, SEQUENCE BREAK shows imposing promise for first-time filmmaker Graham Skipper. With its retro-induced plot combined with elements of body horror and science fiction, it's no surprise that this feature is gaining popular momentum amongst genre fans. This film is a very impressive directorial debut, showcasing levels of professionalism in multiple areas.
Written and directed by Graham Skipper, SEQUENCE BREAK follows a solitary arcade technician named Oz (Chase Williamson) and the bizarre biochemical changes he experiences through the appearance of a mysterious arcade game. As a new relationship with an avid arcade lover named Tess (Fabianne Therese) begins to form, Oz must break away from the game's powerful seduction before the metaphysical changes fully take control.
Pulling inspirations from such 80s classics as VIDEODROME and ALTERED STATES, SEQUENCE BREAK contains all the best components that make genre films quintessential. The special effects are impeccable, fully drenching you with oozing visuals and traditional approaches reminiscent of Cronenberg cult classics. Every scene involving the mysterious arcade game provides great body horror-inspired techniques, which latch onto your senses and make it impossible to look away.
Another striking element that instantly hooked my attention was the overall sound design and synth-induced score. The entire mood and pace of the film is set into motion through Skipper's top of the line sound team, which consistently pulls you along throughout the film's duration. The deep effectiveness of the score is powerful, producing a mesmerizing coherence that molds a fitting atmosphere in correlation to the film's theme. With intense sound production like this, it's rather impossible not to be drawn to the screen.
I also found each performance to be fitting and executed perfectly, with the sparse amount of actors adding to the reclusive atmosphere of the storyline. Chase Williamson gives a great performance and suits every role I've seen him in, with the same being said for Fabianne Therese - these two have consistent on-screen chemistry, delivering very organic presentations.
With a great chosen cast, intriguing (and nostalgic) story elements, along with phenomenal sound production, SEQUENCE BREAK offers its audience a professionally structured film from a first-time director. Those with a soft spot for sci-fi and body horror will be automatically drawn to this film, enjoying every second of the bizarre happenings taking place on screen.