EMPATHY INC is a brilliant Sci-Fi Thriller. It’s bound to remind people of the Black Mirror anthology which is a very good thing! Especially since this movie is also very much its own story. And what a story it is! You do not want to miss out on this one. Read our full Empathy Inc. review here.

Empathy Inc. is the kind of Sci-Fi Thriller that sucks you into its universe immediately. You really shouldn’t know too much about the story since it’s a treat to discover it on your own.

However, I will say that it reminded me of the Black Mirror anthology. And yes, that is a very good thing. Also, it’s in black and white which helps create this very intimate and intense world.

Also read: Our review of the latest Black Mirror season on Netflix here >

I don’t know what I expected from this movie but it definitely delivered and then some. Read more in our Empathy Inc. review below.

Silicon Valley meets Black Mirror

Imagine all those start-ups and investors working to create or find the next Google or Facebook. Now, imagine them getting increasingly desperate and being trapped in a story as dark as the darkest Black Mirror episode. 

Now you have an idea of what to expect from Empathy Inc.

The plot and storyline in this sci-fi thriller is very simple and so are the effects used. But my oh my how they work. In terms of the VR [Virtual Reality] effects, you could compare it to the brilliant Lifechanger (2018).

Also read: Our review of Lifechanger here >

However, the plot of Empathy Inc. is nothing like that of Lifechanger. The two movies just have this wonderful feature in common; When you have a truly brilliant plot and good actors, then you don’t need mindblowing effects and a huge budget. Instead, just focus on telling the story.

That’s what the filmmakers have done with this movie and it just works!

Empathy Inc Review

Not many familiar faces

Just as you would expect from a truly low-budget indie movie, you won’t recognize many of the faces in Empathy Inc. However, if you’ve watched the Jessica Jones series on Netflix, you should recognize one of the key actors in the plot. Jay Klaitz was Robert “Whizzer” Coleman in that series and he plays Lester in this movie.

At first, Jay Klaitz’s part isn’t that big but you’ll get to see quite a lot more of him before it’s all over. After all, he’s the person creating the VR software that Empathy Inc. is all about.

The main protagonist, Joel, is portrayed by Zack Robidas. He has this familiar and quite trustworthy face which works perfectly for the character of Joel. You may know Zack Robidas from his roles in series like Sorry for Your Loss  or Friends from College. I haven’t watched either of those, but I am absolutely an immediate fan of Robidas after watching him in Empathy Inc. 

Don’t miss out on Empathy Inc.

The director of Empathy Inc. is Yedidya Gorsetman who previously made the movie Jammed (2014), which I have not seen. However, after wathing this latest movie, I am certainly intrigued. 

Mark Leidner wrote the screenplay for Empathy Inc. just as he did for Yedidya Gorsetman’s previous movie. Obviously, this is the kind of partnership that just works. Fortunately, we get to enjoy the fruits of their labor and how sweet it is. Well, if you like the kind of story where the main protagonist is literaly fighting for his life by the end.

Please, do yourself a favor and check out this sci-fi thriller as soon as you get the chance. 

EMPATHY INC is out in theaters in Los Angeles from September 6, 2019, other theaters September 13, and on VOD September 13, 2019.

Details

Director: Yedidya Gorsetman
Writer: Mark Leidner
Stars: Zack Robidas, Kathy Searle, Jay Klaitz, AJ Cedeno, Eric Berryman

Plot

Hotshot venture capitalist Joel has a multimillion-dollar deal go up in smoke, and he and his actress wife Jessica are forced to move in with her parents and start from scratch. At the lowest and most desperate moment in his life, Joel meets old friend Nicolaus and his business partner Lester, who are seeking investors in a new technology known as XVR—Xtreme Virtual Reality—from their company Empathy, Inc., which is said to offer the most realistic and moving experiences for users by placing them in the lives of the less fortunate. Joel gets the startup its funds but soon discovers that the tech’s creators have far more sinister uses in store for their creation and that the reality it provides its customers isn’t virtual.

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

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

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Review Date
Reviewed Item
Empathy, Inc. (2018)
Rating
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