Stasis (2017) poster

Stasis (2017)

Rating:

USA. 2017.

Crew

Director/Screenplay – Nicole Jones-Dion, Producers – Dan Andre, Pearry Teo & Van White, Photography – Dustin Supencheck, Music – Scott Glasgow, Visual Effects Supervisor – Laddie Ervin, Special Effects Supervisor – Mark Fenlason, Production Design – Anthony Pearce. Production Company – Bridgemaker Films/Praxiscope Productions.

Cast

Anna Harr (Ava/Seattle), Mark Grossman (Lancer), Phyllis Spielman (Jessica), Tiana Masaniai (The Huntress), Richard Lippert (Captain Suthers), Caleb Thomas (Matt), Andrew Bering (Deputy Minister Brewer), Willian Knight (Chef Minister Marshall), Jeff Locker (Paseo), Jim Coates (Derby), Maddison Bullock (Circe), Kelsey Boze (Future Seattle), Rebecca Raines (Future Huntress), Gregory Shelby (Future Lancer), Greg Lutz (Higgs), Alexandra Stevens (Nightingale)


Plot

The year 2067 after much of the world has been obliterated in a nuclear holocaust. Seattle and Lancer are two rebels fighting against the dictatorial Cabal that has taken over the ruins of the world. They make it to a rebel stronghold where they agree to send their minds back in time to 2017 in hope of preventing the war. In present-day Arizona, teenager Ava sneaks out from home to a party but collapses in the middle of it. After coming around some hours later, she makes her way home – only to find another version of herself asleep in bed. She makes the realisation that she is now disembodied, unable to be seen by or talk to anybody. Her body has been taken over by Seattle who now sets about reuniting with Lancer and her rebel cell in this time. Meanwhile, The Cabal is tracking their whereabouts and sends The Huntress back in time to stop them by driving the rebels out of their hosts, while their original bodies are destroyed in the future, leaving them disembodied. Throughout all of this, Ava tries to find a way to get her body back, even as she realises that she is meant to have died at the party.


Stasis was a directorial debut for Nicole Jones-Dion who had previously made a handful of short films, as well written the scripts for They Found Hell (2015) and a couple of Pearry Teo films – Dracula: The Dark Prince (2013) and Tekken: A Man Called X (2014). (Teo also co-produces here).

Stasis is essentially a variant on The Terminator (1984) in which someone from the future comes back in time in order to prevent a nuclear war from happening. There are no invincible killer machines here, although we do get a time-travelling female enforcer (Tiana Masaniai) who comes back to eliminate the other travellers during the latter third of the show.

Anna Harr and Mark Grossman in Stasis (2017)
Anna Harr and Mark Grossman

The strange spin that Nicole Jones-Dion adds to the mix is having time travellers come back to occupy the bodies of people in the past – an idea that has played out in films like Trancers (1985) and especially the tv series Travelers (2016– ), which has a not dissimilar premise of a group of time travellers inhabiting the bodies of those who have died and organising into a rebel cell in the present. This is spun in interestingly strange ways where the principal plot consists of teenager Anna Harr waking up from a party to find a traveller inhabiting her body and realising that she is now a disembodied soul. It is essentially The Terminator by way of what would normally be a supernatural story told from a ghost’s point-of-view such as Ghost (1990) or The Invisible (2007).

Unfortunately, Nicole Jones-Dion does nothing particularly interesting with her Terminator copyings. The film is completely lacking in any of the action element that you associate with The Terminator and its sequels and imitators– the climax merely takes place in the kitchen of Anna Harr’s family home, for instance. Most of the film involves runnings around between Anna Harr’s home life and the rebels’ warehouse hideout.

Maybe the idea could have worked with a better budget. Even as it is, the film arrives at a happy wrap-up ending that defies credibility – the device is detonated that will remove the rebels from their hosts but because the disembodied Anna Harr detonates it, this banishes only bad enforcer Tiana Masaniai, while transplanting Seattle into Tiana’s body and Harr back into her own body.


Trailer here


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