Today the science fiction film The Anomaly
comes to Blu-ray and DVD. Set in the future, the film stars and is directed by Noel Clarke, who plays Ryan Reeve, an ex-soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Ryan wakes up in a van next to a kidnapped boy (Art Parkinson). After helping the boy escape he is captured by Harkin Langham, played by Ian Somerhalder.
After blacking out, he wakes up again, ten days later, not knowing where he is, with no knowledge of what happened, though quickly finding out that he is missing five years of his life. What he does knows is that he is somehow connected to Langham and to the kidnapping. Worse of all, he discovers very quickly that he can only stay conscious nine minutes and forty seven seconds at a time, with days or sometimes weeks in between, as he fights to find the truth behind what has been done to him.
Being a British film that was previously unreleased in the United States, I went into the film knowing nothing about it other than what the press releases said and that I liked the cast. I tend to enjoy cerebral sci-fi flicks where you really have to think, and that sometimes even require multiple viewings to get a grasp on them. I will say the film is confusing at times, but I like that aspect. You learn slowly along with Ryan what is truly going on.
It wasn't until after watching it that I discovered the film has gotten quite a lot of flack from journalists. I happen to really have liked the film. If you don't like twisty films left up to interpretation, however, this may not be for you. Everything isn't always explained and wrapped up in a nice little bow.
That being said, the film is ambitious, though done on a small budget. However, I found the effects to be well done, appropriate for the movie, and they didn't stand out to me as lacking at all.
I also enjoyed the script itself. It is true that some ideas can be seen as tropes inspired from other films, but to me all in all the movie felt pretty unique, and it was something I hadn't seen in awhile.
It was easy for me to feel alienated and frantic along with Ryan.
I also liked that certain parts were up for interpretation, as when reading others comments I realized that some things different people took differently than I did, but as I've said, that is interesting to me in a film.
I thought the acting was great and found Clarke believable and empathized with him. Somerhalder is deliciously evil in his role.
I also enjoyed Clarke's directing. I appreciated the approach to the fight choreography, which had a different style and feeling than I am used to.
If you like mind-bending science fiction that keeps you on the edge of your toes, I suggest you take a chance on this gem.