Extracted (2012) poster

Extracted (2012)


USA. 2012.


Director/Screenplay – Nir Paniry, Story – Gabriel Cowan, Nir Paniry & John Suits, Producers – Gabriel Cowan & John Suits, Photography – Mark Putnam, Music – Tim Ziesmer, Visual Effects Supervisor – Jon Laude, Production Design – Sarah Pott. Production Company – New Artists Alliance.


Sasha Roiz (Tom Jacobs), Dominic Bogart (Anthony Willis), Jenny Mollen (Abbey Jacobs), Nick Jameson (Richard), Frank Ashmore (Martino Willis), Brad Culver (Garrett), Augie Duke (Adrienne), Ty Simpkins (Young Anthony), Robert Lewis Stephenson (Arthur Kennison), Rodney Eastman (Eric), Richard Riehle (Father Riley), Bernhard Forcher (Detective Mathieu), Darren Melameth (Detective Laird)


Tom Jacobs has developed a device that can delve into a person’s memories and play back a virtual replication of them. He is having difficulty finding backers – all of them want to use the device for exploring other people’s memories but Tom objects to any use other than therapeutic. A backer is found and Tom is pushed to demonstrate a prototype despite protesting it is not ready. The backer turns out to be the Department of Corrections who want to use the device to observe the memories of Anthony Willis, a drug addict who is accused of shooting his girlfriend Adrienne but protests his innocence. Using himself as a subject, Tom enters Anthony’s memories and experiences the murder. However, something goes wrong and Tom cannot be brought back out. His body goes into a coma while his consciousness remains trapped inside Anthony’s memories. From there, Tom finds he is able to talk to Anthony. Tom pleads with Anthony to contact his wife Abbey and find a means to extract him. However, this presents some difficulty due to the fact that Anthony is in jail awaiting imminent execution and demands as price of his cooperation that Tom prove his innocence.

Extracted was one of the films from low-budget production company New Artists Alliance, headed by Gabriel Cowan and John Suits. New Artists have produced other films such as Growth (2010), Static (2012), Bad Milo! (2013), Cheap Thrills (2013), 400 Days (2014), The Scribbler (2014), Pandemic (2016), Fear, Inc. (2016) and Jekyll Island (2017). This has been the only full-length film made by Iraqi-American director Nir Paniry.

Extracted follows on from films like Brainstorm (1983) and Strange Days (1995) that featured the idea of devices that can record memories. Nir Paniry places a much more interesting spin on the idea where by some handwave tech a person’s memories can not only be viewed on a screen but a participant can enter into them – only for things to go wrong and Sasha Roiz becomes trapped inside Dominic Bogart’s mind.

We see some intriguing ideas at play – that memories are like a computer files and one can order the A.I. to conduct a search, or the acknowledgement that memory is fuzzy in its details sometimes, resulting in visiting a memory where pictures in a room are replaced by red X’s or the bookshelves are empty.

Sasha Roiz in Extracted (2012)
Sasha Roiz trapped in another person’s memories

It becomes fascinating watching Sasha Rioz trapped in another person’s memories and the way the film explores and rationalises this idea. To make the concept even more interesting, the film has Sasha trapped inside the memories of Dominic Bogart who is a prisoner in jail sentenced for pending execution on a murder charge at the same time as Sasha is trying to get him to get a message out to his wife to rescue him.

Additional twists comes where Dominic finally gets Sasha’s message through only for this to be turned on its head when Dominic demands in return for doing so that the device be used to prove his innocence. The last third or so of the film in effect becomes a detective story where Sasha is piecing together a puzzle through Dominic’s half-remembered memories. All in all it emerges as an inventive and original idea that is well explored and brought together on a modest budget.

Trailer here

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