MINI REVIEW from FanTasia:
Primer is one of my all-time favorite indie films. It’s smart, savvy, and incredibly well made. Matt Osterman’s taps into the roots of Primer with Phasma Ex Machina, which follows two brothers who hand make a machine to bring their dead parents back from the grave — as ghosts.
Beyond the supernatural elements, Phasma is an engaging story about two brothers who struggle to get their life in check after both their parents died in a car crash — one of which blames himself for the situation. There are threats of his younger brother being taken away – all he has to do is get him to school on time – and yet, his obsession with this device is causing major distractions. He’s unwilling to let go, and completing effing up his relationship with his brother.
It’s a sad story of “too little, too late”, while also tapping into some really creepy horror elements.
The only major problem the film has (besides looking insanely cheap) is that it’s genre confused. There’s a major lack of focus and it’s impossible to know whether you should be scared, sad or complacent. Sans this problem, Phasma Ex Machina is a wonderfully tragic supernatural flick that’s both captivating and “smart”.