When we first meet Laura Green (Amber Doig-Thorne) she seems confused and possibly trapped in a room. For help, she turns to her computer to find that she has amnesia and every day she’s been leaving herself notes and webcam videos in order to explain what has happened to her. On her birthday, she is greeted by a zoom call with friends who try to explain her life to her, but things unravel further when she becomes suspicious of her so-called friends.
INTERVENTION is a who-dun-it mystery thriller in the same vein as Christopher Nolan’s Memento. In fact, first-time director Samesh Ramjattan took inspiration from Nolan asking himself how he would tell that story in an updated version where social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook contain the memories we seek rather than needing tattoos and written notes.
Ramjattan’s debut film takes place, for the most part, on a computer screen. In recent years we’ve seen more and more movies take shape just on a computer screen, with Host being the most well known. Heck, we’ve even seen a show like Modern Family do an episode on a computer screen. It’s a clever concept that, unfortunately, has worn out its welcome. It’s a great way to make a film during a pandemic, but it’s that reminder of a pandemic that makes me exhausted by the concept. I’ve been in enough zoom calls to make me cringe just thinking about them and to see that cringiness on screen gave me flashbacks of my own memories, and not in a good way. I do like all of the notes that are left behind, and did enjoy how each clue led to a sinister reveal, but having it all on a computer screen just feels like poor timing due to my desire to get away from my computer and those cringey zoom meetings.
As for the acting, it isn’t bad, especially from the supporting cast. Olivia (Laura McQuiggin) and Carly (Heather Elise Nelson) were standouts as friends of Laura with some interesting cult-like tattoos. As a lead, Amber Doig-Thorne didn’t excite me, but I also don’t think the material was there for her. She played mostly to a stationary webcam that never moved and acted in a room by herself for 99% of the film. Even when others were on screen in the group chat, it never felt like she, or anyone really, had chemistry. I would actually make the guess that the call never really happened and each actor in this film was asked to record their lines separately without ever talking to any of the other actors. There is a scene near the end of the film with many of these actors in the same room and you can see the chemistry on screen, so it’s a shame to see a lack of chemistry throughout the rest of the movie.
As a low-budget horror film, I think INTERVENTION could have had a good run and even have been a cult hit, ironically or not, in a pre-pandemic world. However, I feel like the biggest downfall this movie has is timing. It became a chore to get through, and none of that had anything to do with the script or the acting. It all had to do with how this story was told. There is definitely an audience for a movie like this, and maybe it’ll play better in time, but right now it struck me as a film that furthered my own reality rather than gave me an escape to another.
INTERVENTION will be on all major VOD platforms, including iTunes, Prime Video, DirecTV, Cox, Time Warner, Dish, Vudu, and Google Play starting April 22, 2022.