by John Duarte
Simulation Theory: A modern hypothesis with ancient roots, posits that we're actually living in an advanced digital construct, such as a computer simulation, that's overseen by some higher form of intelligence.
Are we though?!?! That’s what some people believe. Most famously by Science Fiction author Phillip K. Dick and the subjects that are in this new documentary by Director Rodney Ascher who brought us Room 237 about all the crazy theories involving Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, and The Nightmare which is a documentary about sleep paralysis. A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX, asks the question: “What if we are living in a simulation, and the world as we know it is not real?” The entire documentary uses a noted speech by Phillip K. Dick to dive down the rabbit hole of science, philosophy, and conspiracy theories. Clearly, the director loves making documentaries about conspiracy theories. If simulation theory is not science fiction but fact, and life is a video game being played by some unknowable entity, then who are we really?
Alright!, We got the question and plot out of the way, let us dive into this review. The first thing I noticed about this doc, was that pretty much most of the interviewees are not shown as themselves the entire time but as digital avatars all created by the filmmakers. Each of the participants tells their story about their belief of we’re in a computer and someone’s controlling us. There’s also a couple of people that believe we’re in The Matrix.
Now, I’ll be honest with you readers, when I was a teenager, I watched The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey about a man who’s being watched 24/7 by an audience of people and doesn’t know his life is real. After watching that movie, I started thinking what if I’m being watched and everything around me isn’t real? Of course, when I got older I thought what was I thinking? That’s ridiculous! Most of the interviewees have similar stories and half of them still believe that everything isn’t real to this day. I mean, I’m not gonna lie, It’s interesting what they have to say and what they believe.
There’s one point in the documentary where a guy saw The Matrix multiple times, blasted the soundtrack, and started dressing like Neo, and felt powerful while everyone around him was afraid to get near him. Then, it gets pretty dark with this certain person. All of these stories are being shown through clips from movies, tv, as well as CG animation done for this documentary. The animation goes from beautiful to look at to very amateurish and cheap.
But all in all, A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX was a mixed bag for me mainly because a lot of these stories were a little too out there and crazy for me to believe in. One thing I did like was the score done by Jonathan Snipes who also did the sound design. If you’re a fan of conspiracy theories, then this movie is right up your alley.
A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX is currently a part of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and debuts on VOD February 5th.