The film is the feature debut of Directed Federico De'Alessandro and premiered worldwide June 29th. The film stars Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, and Gary Oldman. The adventurously ambitious opus to the dark side of mad scientist draws from both classic sci-fi and modern horror (all-be-it limited) elements with some seriously astute design.
A once street-smart grifter, Julia (Monroe) who is the latest victim kidnapped and held captive in a fatal experiment. The only thing standing in the way of her freedom is Tau, an advanced artificial intelligence developed by Alex (Skrein), her captor. Tau is armed with a battalion of drones that automate a futuristic smart house. Tau’s potential is only limited by his understanding of the world he exists in, but Tau is ready for more. Julia, showing resourcefulness and courage, must race against time to bridge the boundaries between man and machine, connect to Tau and win her freedom before she suffers the same fate as the previous subjects.
"Tau" has a fairly recognizable construct with noticeable draws from both classic 50's mad science unchecked and more modern abduction survival horror of the 21st century. It is a story told in an even-keeled, focused way that stays dark, foreboding and suprisingly compassionate. The characters are defined, and presented effortlessly given the situation and madness that unfolds. I have to say, as impressed as I was, I did notice that the characters barely made it beyond the two-dimintional marker that could have easily made this film fail.
The special effects were well-produced, highly stylized creations that worked to bring to life the technology and robotic nature of "Tau". The security robot and the smart house A.I. were perfect blends of both sci-fi tropes that gleefully saturate 50's b-movies and 80's A.I flicks such as "2001:A Space Odessy". There is also a recognizable nod to "Forbidden Planet" seen in the style and mechanical nature of the robot and mad genius spiraling deep into the darkside.
Overall I found "Tau" to be a smart, well-crafted next level sci-fi story that brought together the tropes of the genre that has threaded the tapestry of science fiction storytelling of this kind from its beginning, through the "now classic" 80'so revival, right into modern times. The horror elements are a bit slighted and the characters could have held more depth but I really enjoyed "Tau". One for my collection. (4/5)