By James Davidson
“Black Box” is a new Science-Fiction, Thriller that debuted on October 6th, 2020 on the Amazon Prime streaming service. It is available to stream for free for Amazon Prime members. It stars Mamoudou Athie as Nolan, a single father who just lost his wife, and memory, in a horrific car accident. Nolan volunteers for an experimental treatment that is supposed to help him regain his lost memories and help him to take better care of his daughter, Ava (played by Amanda Christine). The treatment, given to Nolan by Dr. Lillian (Phylicia Rasheed), causes more questions than answers as Nolan experiences memories that do not match the life that he is told that he is supposed to be living. Nolan must discover which memories are real and who he really is before his daughter and the life as he knows it are stripped from him forever.
The trailer for this movie made it look like this would be more of a horror, sci-fi “B” movie. I was expecting a creepy, intriguing film with a complex plot that would keep me guessing what would happen next. As well as a few good scares along the way. While the movie didn’t necessarily deliver on the scary parts, I was impressed with the complex, intriguing story as well as some surprisingly good acting.
While the movie is categorized as a horror film, I didn’t find it scary or creepy at all. There were a few jump scares and a couple parts that made me uneasy, but for the most part this movie felt more like a thriller than a horror flick. While I wasn’t disappointed in this, I don’t think that this movie should market itself as a horror film.
The plot was very interesting and had my wife and I trying to guess the ending through the entire film. While eventually the ending becomes a bit predictable, it was still fun to try to figure out where the story was going to take me and I was very engrossed in the plot. There were many twists and turns that kept the story fresh and exciting. I was impressed with the writers ability to keep me guessing and even when the ending became clear there were still many questions and interesting plot points left to figure out.
The acting in this movie left me impressed. I had never heard of most of the actors, except for Mamoudou Athie, and Phylicia Rasheed, and none of them have acted in big blockbuster films. I was expecting some typical “B” movie, mediocre acting. However all of the actors did an impressive job. Particularly Amamda Christine, who played Nolan’s daughter Ava. Ava is left to essentially take care of her father since the accident and Christine plays the perfect little girl taking care of her father.
This movie does not have any rating that I could find, but I would probably put it around a PG-13 rating. There is a little bit of language and a few frightening scenes that younger children would find a bit too scary. There is no sexual or adult content and I think this movie would be appropriate for teenagers. It’s a great movie to watch with a few friends, if you’re in the mood for a slightly creepy thriller.
“Black Box” is an intense sci-fi thriller that will keep you guessing through the entire story. It has surprisingly good acting and some powerful writing that make it a great movie for a night in with a group of friends. It’s one downfall is that it is marketed as a horror film, and it’s not scary at all. I would recommend this film to anyone looking for a new, original movie that has a slight psychological element to it. It earns 4 out of 5 stars.