ARQ is the latest Netflix original and this one offers horror and sci-fi in a cool time loop thriller!

ARQ NetflixNetflix has given us the amazing Stranger Things and released Hush for the world to enjoy, plus now we get the sci-fi movie ARQ. Really, Netflix does seem to be on a crazy roll, and while ARQ isn’t as awesome as Stranger Things, it really is a very exciting watch. Especially, if you love the whole time loop stick that Edge of Tomorrow introduced us to in the recent years.

In many ways, ARQ is much tighter because it all takes place in a pre-defined space of time, so whatever happens, time will reset itself over and over again at exactly the same second. This also means, that we don’t always know what’s happening since we’re following the character, Renton.

This offers up a whole lot more room to evolve and change the story, since we get smarter while he does. Other characters, however, can also know more than he does – or less. Obviously, this means there’s a constant battle against both time and other people, because Renton never really knows how aware the others are.

ARQ Netflix review

Because everything takes place within a very short amount of time, there’s a lot of repetition. This does get a bit annoying, but it helps you understand what Renton is going through. Plus, it never gets too bad!

Small but very good cast makes the story in ARQ work

The setting of the story means that we only see very few people and hear the same lines many times – again, that’s the premise of a time loop story, so I have no problem with it. I am, however, very happy that Robbie Amell and Rachael Taylor work so well to keep it fresh. Throughout the movie, things evolve and new plot twists manage to change Renton’s perspective on things. This also means we get to see the actors portray characters that develop over time, even if the situation is the same over and over again.

ARQ review - Netflix - Rachael Taylor

Rachael Taylor might be the one who has the most to work with, and she does a stellar job with her character, Hannah. Including letting us really understand her awful back story, which in turn helps us understand her.

ARQ was directed by Tony Elliott, who only has a short film on his resumé prior to this movie. He also wrote the script, which is an area he is much more experienced in. Tony Elliott was the executive story editor on 10 episodes of Orphan Black and story editor on an additional 10 episodes. Orphan Black is the Canadian TV show that finally earned Tatiana Maslany a much deserved Emmy for Best Actress this year. In general, Elliot has worked on the writing side of many TV shows, but I’m happy to say ARQ in no way feels like a TV show or TV movie.

This is a solid sci-fi thriller with a perfect runtime of 88 minutes. Enough to tell the story right, but not so much that we end up getting bored. It’s not a great movie, but it is a really good movie. And I’d love to see a lot more from the mind of Tony Elliott in this genre. If this is the beginning of a working relationship with Netflix, then you certainly won’t hear me complain. Though I’ll gladly admit, I could’ve watched ARQ in a dark movie theater and been very happy, as well!

ARQ is a Netflix original, so you can watch it on Netflix worldwide. And you definitely should.


Director: Tony Elliott
Writer: Tony Elliott
Cast: Robbie Amell, Rachael Taylor, Gray Powell


Trapped in a lab and stuck in a time loop, a disoriented couple fends off masked raiders while harboring a new energy source that could save humanity.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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