Into Schrodinger’s Box is a psychological thriller that amplifies the emotional stress that the Coronavirus quarantine has brought to bear, particularly the isolation of people who live on their own or spend most of their time alone.
Sophia (Ada Shkalla) comes home to find her husband, Martin (Goeff Mays), unresponsive, and when she rouses him, he has great difficulty breathing. An ambulance takes him to the hospital, where he’s diagnosed with COVID. She is administered a COVID test and told to quarantine for two weeks. After arriving home, the walls seem to close in on Sophia and strange happenings commence. Before long, she’s questioning her sanity. She lives under the shadow of exposure to Coronavirus, and she becomes convinced intruders are entering her house, and she might be right.
The thought experiment conducted by Erwin Schrödinger referenced in the title speaks to the notion that, in the absence of direct observation, it’s impossible to know what is happening in a constrained situation. The argument asserts that, in fact, multiple possible outcomes are considered, in this approach to determination, to have happened. The infamous cat in the box is considered to be both alive and dead. Sophia becomes the cat.
“Did Sophia succumb to the madness of solo quarantine, or was she really attacked…”
As Sophia sinks into deep, quiet isolation, unable to even speak to her husband because he’s on a ventilator, her grip on reality becomes uncertain. The viewer is also unmoored from knowing which story is canonical in the film. Even later, when you think you do, you may not actually know. This experience redefines the notion of an unreliable narrator.
Shkalla plays Sophia’s confusion (or possibly her being gaslighted) with a great mix of fear and frustration, and for most of the movie, she carries it all on her own.
The story of the making of Into Schrodinger’s Box is a fascinating behind-the-scenes reveal of a production hitting high speed to get the time-sensitive story told as quickly as possible while also following all of Canada’s film production pandemic safety protocols. This is a truly impressive result for a movie made under these extreme circumstances.
Every aspect of the film’s production quality is top-notch for any movie, not just for an indie thriller expedited for a faster release. The musical score stands out, as does the cinematography. Into Schrodinger’s Box leaves the viewer wondering what, if anything, was real about what they just saw. Did Sophia succumb to the madness of solo quarantine, or was she really attacked by people she didn’t invent in a fever dream? It’s unclear. Perhaps both are meant to be true, and the cat is both alive and dead.
"…every aspect of the film's production quality is top notch..."