DVD Review: Artifacts
Studio: Lions Gate
DVD Release Date: August 19, 2008
Directed By: Giles Adoust, Emmanuel Jespers
Cast: Mary Stockley, Felix Scott, Max Digby
Brutal As Hell Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Review By: Marc Patterson
There’s a theory out there that we all have a doppelganger, an evil twin that exists in a twisted parallel dimension. Sometimes those twisted spirits find their way out into our world and hell is quite literally unleashed. Sometimes it’s not that simple.
Artifacts takes the path of the more complicated story. It isn’t necessarily a “doppelganger” flick, but in a way, that’s exactly what it is. Kate (Mary Stockley) has her own consulting business and is a bit of a raging workaholic. So much so that it becomes the ruin of her relationship with boyfriend Mike (Felix Scott). On one overworked evening she has a vivid dream that one of her friends is being chased down by an unseen assailant and has been thrown from the top of a building. The following day it is revealed to be not just a dream. During the night her friend was very literally thrown off a building to her death. The police call Kate in for questioning as she was the last one to have seen the girl alive. When the police who are questioning Kate ultimately let her go we, the audience, aren’t as forgiving and are left to wonder whether or not it was she who had done it. Quickly though we find out Kate didn’t do it, but rather she has a bigger problem on her hands. For an unexplained reason the doubles of both Kate and her friends are tracking them each down and killing them one by one thanks to artifacts that have been implanted in their chests. Kate quickly races to get in touch with her ex-boyfriend Mike before it is too late, and together they attempt to unravel the twisted nightmare before they too meet their hellish fates.
Artifacts is an unsuspecting low budget thriller from Belgium that Lionsgate has discretely released direct to DVD with no fanfare, and barely a teaser trailer mention on their other current DVD’s. However, unlike much of the drivel from Lionsgate, Artifacts stands out and rises above the others thanks to an original and twisting story that pulls you along quite quickly while you try to figure out what is going to happen next. This is good because the runtime on the film is a measly 75 minutes, so we don’t have much in the way of downtime. While Artifacts proves to not be perfect, it does prove to be perfectly watchable. The acting is surprisingly solid, with no real apparent weak spots, and the story line, though twisted and hard to follow at times still provides something a cut above the other trash DVD’s that Lionsgate steadily churns out. However, the one drawback of the film is that it leaves itself completely open-ended, which could be a turn off for viewers. The DVD extras are minimal and are hardly worth mentioning, so I won’t linger long beyond telling you that in the extras the co-directors do explain the reasoning for the open ending, but it doesn’t much matter in light of things.
Artifacts delivers on what is promises and while not worth the purchase it is certainly worthy of a rental.