THE ARTIFICE GIRL is a new sci-fi thriller mystery about AI and how it can be used for good. However, it’s also a cautionary tale of sorts. About the things we can’t control and how we as humans deal with that. Read our full The Artifice Girl movie review here!
THE ARTIFICE GIRL is a new movie that covers several of our favorite genres; sci-fi, thriller, and mystery. The story is about AI developed with a specific (and important) purpose – namely to catch online predators. However, as the need for development increases, the AI is given more freedom and develops in ways that go beyond that purpose.
This film was nominated for the Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award at SXSW 2023, and it won Best International Feature at Fantasia Film Festival 2022, where it premiered. Having watched the movie, I absolutely agree that it is award-worthy. I didn’t know what to expect, but it gets a lot out of very little. I really enjoyed it!
Continue reading our The Artifice Girl movie review below. Find it in theaters, On Demand, and on Digital from April 27, 2023.
A cautionary tale… of sorts!
While The Artifice Girl is a cautionary tale in some ways, it doesn’t go there in a Terminator sort of way. This isn’t Skynet and the AI isn’t looking to take over the world even if human beings are clearly full of lots of rotten eggs. Something the AI in this movie becomes very familiar with.
If you need to compare The Artifice Girl to any other AI movie, it would be something like I, Robot. A movie about an entity of sorts that is smarter than us, but also made by us and with the core purpose of protecting us. As well as following our orders.
As anyone who has watched any movie about AIs gone wild knows, those two directives can contradict one another. If it’s to take orders from us as well as protect us, it needs also to make us aware of when our orders could hurt us.
This is all very theoretical, but in discussions with the AI in this movie, we get to cover a lot of similar subjects.
A brilliant tiny cast
In the extremely important role of the AI, we see Tatum Matthews. If her performance wasn’t believable and efficient, this movie would not work. Full stop. This also means that she is largely responsible for the movie working as well as it does.
However, the rest of the core cast ultimately plays an equally large part in this. If anyone of them fell through, it would suddenly feel fake. And where the AI doesn’t age (because she’s essentially a computer program), the other three characters do. And again, it just feels so organic and right. Without lots of fancy special effects, I might add.
The story in The Artifice Girl plays out across four different time periods. The fourth being just shortly after the third. Not only does it play out in these three time periods, but it also takes place in just three settings. Two office settings and a home. With a runtime of around 90 minutes, that leaves a good thirty minutes for each.
It works brilliantly for me, as the dialogue in the story is so sharp (and often a tad witty as well as desperately awful theme-wise in the first segment) that I just sat there mesmerized. Like a kid at storytime.
The three core characters are Gareth (Franklin Ritch), Deena (Sinda Nichols), and Amos (David Girard). Once we get many decades into the future, Gareth is portrayed by Lance Henriksen (Mom and Dad). The other two have passed away by then as they were always older than Gareth.
Watch The Artifice Girl in theaters or On Demand now!
The Artifice Girl is both written and directed by Franklin Ritch, who also plays a key role in the movie. He is the young version of the Gareth character, so he really is the “father” of this project in every way. This is his feature film debut which bodes very well for the future.
Having a story so strong that you don’t need loads of special effects or lots of settings (or even a big cast) is always fascinating to me. It’s the kind of story that could’ve been shown on a theater stage, and I would’ve been completely mesmerized as well.
If you enjoy sci-fi movies that have a tight and very relevant story – one that isn’t afraid to look at both the good and bad – then this is for you. Also, it’s for anyone who enjoys good storytelling supported by strong actors!
THE ARTIFICE GIRL is out in Theaters, On Digital, and On Demand on April 27, 2023.
Director: Franklin Ritch
Writer: Franklin Ritch
Cast: Tatum Matthews, David Girard, Sinda Nichols, Franklin Ritch, Lance Henriksen
A team of special agents discovers a revolutionary new computer program to bait and trap online predators. After teaming up with the program’s troubled developer, they soon find that the AI is rapidly advancing beyond its original purpose.