The title Into The Uncanny Valley might lead one to believe that the short film is about computer effects, or at least heavily involves them, like maybe a computer program comes to life via the terrific fun of Bad CGI Sharks. But no, this dramatic horror feature does not. Instead, the film, written by Liz Fania Werner, explores how losing one’s empathy means losing your humanity.
Hana (Kimberly Alexander) is trapped in a miserable marriage to the coldly harsh Aleksi (Mikael Mattsson). He berates her for not having dinner when he wanted it done instead of just waiting for the two extra minutes. When she apologizes for not meeting his needs right away, he chastises her for reminding him of his overbearing parents. She again apologizes.
“…Hana sees an ad for a new medicine, Vitalalol, which disables the empathy in a person.”
One day, Hana sees an ad for a new medicine, Vitalalol, which disables the empathy in a person. Hana orders the drug, and, sure enough, she can stand up to her husband. But, as she takes more of it, Hana begins acting cruelly to Aleksi. Is this simple comeuppance, or does Hana take things too far and truly lose who she is?
The biggest problem with Into The Uncanny Valley is its opening few minutes. When the 12-minute long movie begins, Hana and Aleksi are already married, and he is a callous jerk towards her. The viewers immediately question how these two got together if he was always this mean to her. So, instead of paying attention to the story at hand, the viewer is distracted, waiting for a backstory that never comes. It would be easy to add a few happy photos around the house to put those details in the background for eagle-eyed viewers. But, the production design is rather sparse, so again, this relationship never totally makes sense.
"…they strike the right balance of strange originality and unsympathetic characters."