Short of the Day: ‘The Brain Hack’ and the Dangerous Varieties of Religious Experience

WARNING: View with extreme caution.
By  · Published on June 20th, 2017

WARNING: View with extreme caution.

Feel like losing your mind a little today? In a good way, I mean? If so, then have I got a mind-bender of a short for you. It’s called The Brain Hack and it’s the cinematic equivalent of taking a couple tabs of acid and tripping out on the nature of god, the universe, and everything. While being hunted.

The gist is this: a couple of students create a technological short-cut that induces hallucinogenic visions of God. That in and of itself is psychedelic enough, but then you add the second facet of the plot, a deadly religious sect hunting down our heroes for what they hath wrought, and what you get is a cerebral, haunting, and fiercely captivating film that plays like a Shane Carruth flick twisted to the Nth degree.

Joe White is the multi-award-winning film’s writer and director, and its shadowy, sinister cinematography comes from Dan Stafford-Clark. Together they forge an atmosphere as mysterious as it is alluring, and like a drug or a god the film demands your attention for every single second of its 20-minute run-time. This is seriously one of the most intense short films I’ve ever seen, as well as being one of the most masterful. I don’t want to say too much, but The Brain Hack could easily could be the springboard for a feature, or even a television series, and it’s exactly the kind of heady, original sci-fi we need in this era of CGI-sequels.

As for that sub-head up there – “WARNING: View with extreme caution” – those are White’s words, not mine, and while there might be some uncomfortable moments towards the end if you suffer from seizures, otherwise the real caution here is how White and The Brain Hack are about to rock your world, cinematically-speaking. Buckle up.

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