Not So Smart Car
Sandra (Katrina Bowden - I Killed My BFF) was once a singer but these days she is a young mum with her husband Carl (Damon Dayoub), a record producer, always away on business. It is why Carl got Sandra the Monolith, the World's safest car aimed at protecting women when driving on their own, he even installed an app on her phone so she can control the car's safety features using it. It is on her way to visit her mum in LA with their son in the back that Sandra starts to wonder whether Carl is being faithful and without telling anyone decides to drive off and try and catch him in the act. But after hitting an animal in the middle of nowhere things take a turn for the worse as having got out to check on the animal her son accidentally puts the car in vault mode whilst playing with her mobile. Now with no one knowing where they are, her son in a bear costume locked in the car and the baking heat making it worse Sandra must try and find a way to save her son from an impenetrable car.
In the week where the press were going on about how Elon Musk is warning us about AI whilst Mark Zuckenberg was all for it, it seems quite apt that I found myself watching "Monolith", which also goes by the name of "Trapped Child". This movie may not be about Artificial Intelligence but it is a movie all about modern technology and how not only some times we rely on it too much but sometime technology can end up becoming a hindrance.
Now "Monolith" has a lot of build up or at least it feels that way as during the first 25 minutes we have an advert for the ultra safe car, we see how Sandra has a spot of trouble in a service station with some scary people and we also have the seeds of doubt as Sandra begins to suspect that her husband might be having an affair. But truth be told none of that is important, what is important is when her child ends up trapped in a high tech car with no way of getting in. It is certainly a nightmare situation which wants us to feel for both a trapped child as the day gets hotter and hotter but also for Sandra, a first time mum, as she feels helpless in the middle of nowhere.
The thing is that whilst "Monolith" certainly is an interesting concept which whilst trying to highlight how technology is not flawless also tries to be scary, it is a movie which you end up seeing the holes in the logic. For example a scene early on in the movie shows us that this smart car worked out there is a young child sitting in the back so surely it must be smart enough to know a young child shouldn't be on its own in a car for a long time especially on a hot day. On top of that some of the things which Sandra does just don't ring true of a desperate young mum even one who is running out of ideas.
What this all boils down to is that there are a lot of good ideas in "Monolith" when not only being a cautionary tale about technology but also a horror storyline with a desperate situation. But it is a movie which is flawed because of issues with logic both when it comes to technology as well as human responses to a crisis.