Leigh Whannell, who played Adam in Saw, stole my heart in 2004. Yep. Who knew my second sexual awakening would happen when I was 13 for a money-hungry photographer being punished for his sins? (Lol, am I a freak?) Want to know who the first awakening was? It was Bastian in The Neverending Story.
Moving on. You want to know how much Whannell stole my heart? No? I’ll tell you anyway.
My AIM (rip) screen name was “AdamSawMeFirst.” (I know, the creativity is WILD.) I had the word first tacked on there because my good friend at the time was just as obsessed with the character and she made her screen name “AdamSawMe.” Yes, we talked about this and actually fought over an AIM screen name. I should have never settled because I’m pretty sure that I came up with the whole idea, but we all have our regrets.
14 years later, Whannell has done it again with the new horror-sci-fi-AI-dystopian-totally-not-a-B-movie, Upgrade.
This is a spoiler-free review because the movie came out this week and I’d hate to be the person who ruins it for you. All I’ll say is this: I’ve been right about Whannell since I was 13. There’s something so inventive and fresh about his storytelling. It’s violent and funny and relatable and tragic and destructive and true and human – specifically with Grey Trace – we meet him in the beginning boiled down to the word “husband,” the man’s man who likes to get his hands dirty and work, but lives with “wife” who, as they say, wears the pants in the relationship and is all about working with and towards technological advancement. Wife’s favorite thing to do is to print pizza. (Side-note: COOL) Husband asks, “Why don’t we just make the pizza?”
How does a man of the “old world” piece into the puzzle of the future? Well, with a little roach named STEM, a chip implanted into Trace’s neck. The movie taunts existentialism while simultaneously leading with it. Trace’s main drive is any and all emotion centered around avenging his murdered wife. Think Saw meets Black Mirror meets The Punisher. It’s gritty, it’s violent, it’s stylistic, it’s dark, it’s comedic, it’s bleak. It’s everything I love about horror (and learning to love about sci-fi). Upgrade tapped into my heart, and not just because of Logan Marshall-Green’s hot fucking face. (Side-note: I think Whannell was my playing with my lady love since Trace’s name is Grey. 50 shades me all day, please.)
The word trace, by definition, means to mark something – it’s an indication of existence, but a small one. SO with that being said, run to the theater, buy your ticket and find out what Grey Trace marks. Get ready for bloodshed and a great fucking ending. The audience’s reaction in the theater was a wonderful addition to seeing the movie on the big screen. So, do as I say and run.
Truly, I loved this movie. I know it will be in my top five this year. I already can’t wait to see it again. Thanks for all you do, Leigh Whannell. Have my heart anytime.
P.S. – Get this movie to Canada ASAP. The Terror Table podcast wants to see it and I need to talk to them about it STAT. Thanks!
Until next time – Find out what makes you human and keep it close. Don’t break it.