Safe and Sound is the ninth episode of Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams and begins in a world that’s a totalitarian state where there’s checkpoints everywhere you go, and the threat of terrorism is never far away, although are those terrorist attacks real or faked to instill fear in its all?
Never fear, because in the future, everyone wants a Dex, and they’re owned by as many people as have mobile phones now, in reality. It’s a device which allows you to see and control a set of commands a la Minority Report, which itself is also based on a Philip K Dick story… in fact, as this plays out, even pre-crime comes into this, too, so there’s some of the same ideas coming up in this story. On the downside, the Dex downloads all your info, so you’re telling the government way too much about yourself, just as you let Facebook et al have it all when you partake in those pointless ‘quizzes’.
Foster, played by Annalise Basso, who was in 2013’s Oculus as well as the forthcoming Slender Man, wants one, but once acquired she’s ‘followed’ by Ethan, a guy on the helpline who… helps her out. She’s followed in the way that futuristic helplines implant a voice in your head which only you can hear, which on the one hand looks a bit odd to others as you’re seen talking to nobody, but then again, how many idiots wander about with bluetooth earpieces, having conversations? They look like they’re completely out to lunch!
Initially, she’s told to investigate another student, Kaveh (Algee Smith), for his alleged dodgy behaviour, but is she being guided correctly? You’re never quite sure until the ending comes, so it does a reasonable job of keeping up the suspense.
However, while watching this, and before any kind of revelation came up, I wasn’t buying the whole situation with Ethan since when you’re phoning from a call centre, there’s no way anyone from one of those would talk to a customer like that unless they wanted to lose their job.
In addition, Foster can barely function as a human being during most of this drama, so what she manages late on really does stetch credibility. What’s bang on the money is that libraries are a thing of the past, no doubt thanks to the Tories.
There’s also good support from E.R.‘s Maura Tierney as her mother, Irene, and Alice Lee as her friend, Milena. Plus, the always welcome Martin Donovan as school head, Odin.
Now, some elements which I’ll hide behind a spoiler, but please only read this part if you’ve seen it, and please don’t give spoilers in the comments. Thanks.
On the plus side, at least this was better than director Alan Taylor’s last movie, 2015’s Terminator Genisys.
Director: Alan Taylor
Producer: Lynn Horsford
Screenplay: Kalen Egan and Travis Sentell (based on the short story by Philip K Dick)
Music: Mark Isham
Foster Lee: Annalise Basso
Irene Lee: Maura Tierney
Ethan: Connor Paolo
Milena: Alice Lee
Kaveh: Algee Smith
Odin: Martin Donovan
Kim: Emily Rudd
Teacher: Mari Marroquin
Older Girl: Emma Neira
Security Guard: Jordan Miczek
Security Guard #2: Randall McDonald
Border Patrol Agent: Mike Geraghty
Border Authority: Terence Sims
Bully 1: Sam Straley
Bully 2: Matthew Chappelle
Jacob: Aidan Traynor
Teenage Advertisement: Lindsay Stock
Newscaster: Pamela Jones
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.