(director: Matt Vesely; screenwriter: Lucy Campbell; cinematographer: Michael Tessari; editor: Tania Nehme; music: Benjamin Speed; cast: Lily Sullivan (The interviewer), Ling Cooper Tang (Floramae Voice), Ansuya Nathan (Paula Voice), Erik Thompson (Dad Voice), Matt Crook (Scott Voice), Kate Box (Laura Voice); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Bettina Hamilton; Well Go USA Entertainment; 2023-Australia)

“It’s amazing that Lily Sullivan can keep this sketchy one-woman sci-fi thriller enthralling throughout.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Aussie director Matt Vesely, in his directorial debut, directs this offbeat, gloomy, creepy, Aussie sci-fi thriller about an untrustworthy podcaster. The writer Lucy Campbell raises some interesting questions but fails to follow through on them.

Lily Sullivan stands out in her one character performance. The minimalist story is set in one location. The restrained supernatural horror pic has something to say, but the more we try to hear what that is the dimmer it sounds.

Lily Sullivan plays an unnamed disgraced journalist on the run after disturbing her followers by her unproven false accusation story. Her readers flood her with hate mail. She flees her place and lands in her parents’ luxury home, who are abroad on an extended vacation. After idle for months, she sets up a recording studio and creates a podcast when she gets a tip on an unusual story. While following the strange story her life becomes more unstable.

The mystery story Lily focuses on is about a maid named Floramae (voiced by Ling Cooper Tang), who claims she once received a bizarre black brick. She can’t explain how she got it and she can’t explain what it did. When the brick was stolen by her employers, her life was crushed.

Lily receives calls from her podcast followers who say they also had such a brick. To add to the maid’s weird story, Lily manufactures twists to make it more exotic. This comes after she warns others not to add twists to their stories.

It leads to an action-filled climax.

It’s amazing that Lily Sullivan can keep this sketchy one-woman sci-fi thriller enthralling throughout.

It played in the SXSW Film Festival.