With writer-director duo, Justin Gallaher and Sam Roseme taking the helm, Motion Detected follows MEGAN as it delivers an all-too-stark reminder of how the evolution of technology and artificial intelligence carries with it its very own kind of threat.
Motion Detected – Storyline
After falling victim to a serial killer’s home invasion and subsequently developing PTSD, Eva (Natasha Esca, Narcos: Mexico) and her husband, Miguel (Carlo Mendez, The Bay), flee their home in Mexico to seek safety and refuge in their new abode in sunny California.
Their new, ultra-modern house comes packed with all of the latest amenities, including a home automation system going by the name of ‘El DIablo‘. Alarm bells ring in the couple’s minds as their new all-singing-all-dancing tech. shares a name with the very man that is wanted by the police back home in Mexico for invading Eva’s home before going on to kill more people.
The fleeing couple is looking forward to their first night in their new home when Miguel receives a work-related phone and is summoned away to attend client meetings in their homeland. After some deliberation, Eva convinces him that he needs to go to work and assures him that she will feel safe with the ominously named security system watching over her.
However, it’s not long before our lonesome protagonist starts to experience ‘glitches’ in the AI software: her door locks when she tries to leave the house, calls of ‘Motion detected’ ring out from the console and, more notably, a shadowy apparition of a young girl can be seen stalking the rooms and corridors.
Eva slowly descends into a spiraling madness as the house threatens to consume her very sanity.
There is a Lot About Motion Detected that Just Doesn’t Make Sense
While Motion Detected has a few saving graces, its writers’ ability to properly explain what’s going on sadly isn’t one of them. There are so many questions left unanswered that fail to cast the movie in a mysterious light as intended, instead, they leave a bitter taste of confusion and disappointment.
Somewhere deep inside the smog of confusion, there lies a glimmer of a story, tentatively hanging on a hook but there’s simply not enough substance to give Motion Detected any sort of real meaning. The result is a disjointed hodge-podge of dead ends and lingering questions.
Natasha Esca is Hit and Miss in Motion Detected
Despite soaring to fame with her role in the cult TV show, Glee, Esca leaves a lot to be desired in her leading role as Eva. That’s not to say that she has no talent, just that it’s seldom shown throughout the pleasantly brief 80 minutes of Motion Detected.
With that being said, there is a spattering of scenes where she hits the proverbial nail on the head but these are few and far between and are of little redemption for the wooden self-dialogues.
Motion Detected – Final Thoughts
Between the creepy, glitching ghost of a girl haunting her way through the lonely house and the handful of Eva’s nightmares that we see played back through El Diablo, Motion Detected isn’t entirely without its scares. However, they’re not the kind that will have you hiding behind your sofa.
Motion Detected is certainly a tame horror but there is a lot to be said for its racey pace. With a runtime of just eighty minutes, there are no needlessly drawn-out parts to slow the movie down. While the scares aren’t likely to hit the mark, at least you won’t be bored. There is fun to be found in Motion Detected, it just fails to deliver as a horror movie.