I had the pleasure of escaping into Graham Skipper’s throwback-loving new film Sequence Break.
The story begins with an arcade. There is a young man faithfully repairing the arcade games, connecting circuit boards and focusing so much on the task at hand that his boss bringing around a cute girl is completely lost on him. This young man is Oz (Chase Williamson), short for Ozgood. He is an antique, accurately described by the young woman who finds his snub interesting enough to ask him on a date. She is Tess (Fabianne Therese), a writer and an equally socially awkward millennial. Under the guise of touring the arcade’s showroom, she recognizes Oz from a bar she frequents and confronts him later that night. Tess of course, has no idea of the influence that has invaded Oz.
There is a machine that has eluded Oz in its repair at the arcade, but when an intruder drops an envelope with its missing circuit board, Oz finds himself sucked into the most pleasurable arcade experience of his life. Suddenly Tess, the Arcade, and his own life pale in comparison. Imagine your greatest dreams come true, come alive, and at your fingertips. It’s enough to disturb any man out of their right man, and Oz is no exception. The game is alive, and feeds off its players.
Graham Skipper has constructed a world so thoroughly captivating, I could not tear my eyes away. Scenes of intimacy became grotesque and elaborate, and the monstrously captivating quality of the machine makes for an eloquent metaphor for addiction in general. Oz is held hostage to the pleasures it brings, playing for hours on end and even disappearing into the game. Chase Williamson’s character development on screen was a sight to behold, and the relationship with Fabienne Therese was well done.
See for yourself- but down come crying to me when you can never play another arcade game again.
Graham Skipper’s SEQUENCE BREAK drops exclusively on Shudder, and is available now!