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Empathy, Inc.

Empathy, Inc. (2018) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  97m  •    •  Directed by: Yedidya Gorsetman.  •  Starring: Zack Robidas, Kathy Searle, Jay Klaitz, Eric Berryman, AJ Cedeno, Charmaine Reedy, Fenton Lawless, Anthony Mangano, Karen Lynn Gorney, Tom Kemnitz Jr., Brandon Engman, Selima Smith-Dell, Ben Scheiner..
      An investor in a VR startup discovers that the reality the company provides isn't virtual.


If you don't don't like movies in Black and White, just don't watch this, pure and simple, why watch something you know you'll hate? Anyone complaining about Black and White photography here is silly, the black and white does this movie a real service in not only distinguishing it from many other low-budget films, but really does enhance the mood here. As with another movie I recently reviewed "Third Contact", the b&w is a real asset to that movie as well as "Empathy, Inc." It is well-filmed, and has a fairly good usage of closeups, it doesn't overdo them, and it couples very well with the b&w photography.

The script was well-written other than the 2 or 3 small plot holes, which unfortunately, were they tied up, the authors would have had to change some of the story a little bit, that would have not effected it too much on the hole, either way, with movies of this nature, it requires a good deal of suspension of disbelief. Eliminating those plot holes would have elevated it from good to great. The characters are flawed, but still likeable, I was rooting for the lead, I found his wife sometimes irritating, but well-meaning, and by the end, I had a lot of empathy for her, her parents were likeable, and I felt behaved fairly realistically as a pair of loving parents would. One of the well-written aspects of this film was the initial set-up and the introduction of the "investment", there was a lot of excitement in the initial half of the film, and while the film never peters out in terms of pace and excitement, the second half is not nearly as well-written.

The sound and movie are well-used, and the lighting is better than a lot of low-budget films, but given it is using B&B photography, a better usage of shadows and light contrast would have served the film well. The sound editing though is really solid, and so much better than most low-budget films and even soe bigger budget ones, this is one of the areas where it really shines.

The pacing is good, it is never slow, but it isn't fast ether, it moves a very deliberate moderate pace, and this serves to build up tension very well. No, this isn't anywhere near as good as "Primer", but while watching it, I felt some of the same feelings tension and suspense I had while watching that and "Coherence". I was totally absorbed in the film, and very upset when I had to take a break halfway through. I was expecting a film I could wash dishes to, but I ended up just really sitting down and watching it instead. It doesn't have nearly the re-watchable qualities of "Primer" or "Coherence", but the first go round is a lot of fun and very clever in some places.

The acting here is solid, not fantastic, but give credit where credit is due, I watch a lot of low-budget fare, and the acting here is just as good as most big budget films, especially when you consider the amount of closeups used in this film.

I find it to be a glaring hypocrisy when people accustomed to bigger budget films pick on low budget movies for acting that isn't totally stellar, or minor issues with lighting or sound. I don't mean real problems, such as if the audio is so bad you cannot hear what characters are saying, or the lighting is completely washed out, and not for artistic effect, but due to incompetency. There are real complaints you can make about many low budget AND big budget films, so I am not referring to that, but simply, with low budget films, we absolutely should cut them a bit more latitude, if anything our criticisms on big budget studio films should be harsher because they have so many resources at their disposal, and yet they still make really bad movies. While, most of the time, low budget films suffer due to a lack of monetary resources, and often times, skilled people to work on the film, but many times, they make up for it with sheer gumption, ambition, and better ideas.

As a long-time reviewer, I am hesitant to ever say there are fake reviews, but I actually know from my own personal experience that there are, I have talked to at least one low-budget movie maker who admitted it, probably without realizing. So, yes, fake reviews are real. I say all that, because this is one of the first times I agree with the other reviewers on fake reviews, when I originally wrote this review, were 253 ratings, but 44 reviews? Nope, not buying that most of them are legit. The reason I don't buy it is because I regularly review low-budget films, go check out my other reviews and look at comparable review to rating ratio. While there is certainly going to be more reviews on certain movies, that does not explain the disproportional large number at the time of writing the original review. So yes, I believe the first influx of reviews, are mostly written by those affiliated with the film or are friends or family of them. It's a shame because this is a very well-made low-budget film, it deserves a wider viewership and more legitimate reviews, which likely will come in time. It deserves a solid 6 or 6.5 on it's overall IMDB score, the only reason it doesn't get higher for me is because of a few small plot holes, which do make some of the things in the film unravel, they don't generally take away from it's enjoyment overall, but when it's over, you cannot help, but think about them.

I might watch it again, I might not, but I would certainly recommend it people whom enjoy sci-fi, and films that are a little bit different. It has it's flaws and it's charms, but it is certainly worthy of a wider audience, it really is a shame all these fake reviews are on here, it just isn't helping it's reputation and will turn a lot of people off.

Review by betchaareoffendedeasily from the Internet Movie Database.