The Alpha Test looks at the rise of our eventual robot overlords through the prism of one family. JD (Brad Belemjian) wins a contest at work to bring home a prototype of his company’s new robotic home assistant, Alpha (Rae Hunt). His mother, Kim (Deborah Seidel), vehemently objects to having such a thing in her house. She distrusts most artificial intelligent machines, as her best friend was killed in an accident involving a self-driving car.
Sister Lily (Bella Martin) is instantly taken with the new machine, while Rob (Wynn Reichert), the father, treats Alpha like a party trick one shows off at a party. One night, when it is just Lily and Alpha home, she teaches the android that being bullied is not okay and how to stand up for herself. Alpha takes this lesson too far with the maid and kills her. Then Alpha begins “standing up” for herself against the whole family, save for Lily. Is just this one unit defective? Or are all the Alphas rising up?
“…teaches the android that being bullied is not okay and how to stand up for herself. Alpha takes this lesson too far with the maid and kills her.”
Written and directed by Aaron Mirtes, The Alpha Test has a few positives but stumbles over itself more often than not. For starters, the design of the android is hideous. The sunken eyes, the odd bolted on faceplate, leads to flesh-toned jawlines and ears. Why not make it all one cohesive piece? The long, black unitard, everything about the design of Alpha, is garish and unseemly.
On the other hand, Hunt is fantastic as the robot servant pushed to the brink. She conveys genuine curiosity about human emotions well, and she nails the action beats. That is not an easy task given how repulsed the audience is by her appearance. Hunt’s chemistry with Martin as Lily is also quite good. They have a natural rapport and form a believable bond.
"…looks at the rise of our eventual robot overlords through the prism of one family."