Imagine if we lived in but one version of the world and there were other incarnations. What would be the benefits and the dangers? That mind-bending contention is at the heart of the low budget Australian sci-fi drama, The Gateway.
Physicist and researcher Jane Chandler (Jacqueline McKenzie) is happily married to writer, Matt (Myles Pollard). They have two kids, Jake (Ryan Panizza) and Samantha (Shannon Berry). Jane has her own lab and together with her assistant, Regg (Ben Mortley), is experimenting with matter teleportation. So far, no good. They can’t make it happen. With their funding about to run out, the pressure is on. When Matt is killed in a car crash, Jane does the unthinkable.
She uses her revolutionary teleportation machine to travel to a parallel world where she finds an alternate version of Matt. But this form of her deceased husband is a decidedly different man. Largely expressionless, a soldier, he carries a deadly weapon and has a temper than can erupt at any moment. It soon becomes clear she’s made a terrible mistake and she and her family are at risk.
While the premise engaged me, I found its execution heavy-handed. The film showed promise, but was let down on a number of fronts. The script needed some reworking. I felt much of the acting was forced. Accomplished actress Jacqueline McKenzie (Three Summers) was the best of the performers, but even she lacked believability in a number of scenes.
On the other hand, the sense of menace that creeps into the picture keeps you involved. The idea behind the narrative – replicated worlds co-existing – is an exciting one. I kept thinking that this was a film that could have turned out much better than it did. For instance, think about Ex Machina, which was also made for a song. To summarise, expect nothing more that B-grade movie fare with The Gateway.
Director: John Soto
Cast: Jacqueline McKenzie, Myles Pollard, Ben Mortley
Release Date: 3 May 2018 (limited)
Other reviews you might enjoy:
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television