Foresight Killer Instinct (2012) – By Joshua Samford

I know very little about director Duncan Cunningham, but the website for his film is very telling about what he hopes to promote. Featuring burning skulls and lots of heavy metal imagery, it seems that Mr. Cunningham is a true fan of the macabre. This director and his group certainly have a flair for the artistic and visual nature of cinema, that is for sure. Some filmmakers may have conventionally well written stories, but have very little to say when it comes time to paint their vision on the screen. Then there are other filmmakers who, despite maybe lacking in one or two other areas, are able to create a visual style that is uniquely their own. While Cunningham’s movie may have some areas that come across as amateurish, there seems to be a very definite visual edge that seems unique. Making good use of multiple layers within the post-production work, and using a number of filters and color corrections, Cunningham and his crew craft a dark and morbid looking world that is reminiscent of Michael Mann’s work if only his camera were covered by a metal screen that was covered in filth.

Glen Parsons is a local psychic in a corrupt Australian city. When he agrees to help his brother, a well meaning detective, he runs into the crooked hot head Lance Steele. Unknown to some, Steele is actually becoming a kingpin of sorts in the world of crime. When Parsons places a hand on the victim at the crime scene, he finds that Steele was actually the man who pulled the trigger. While this information would certainly be helpful in solving the case, unfortunately Parsons passes out immediately. Being taken back by the strange look that Parsons gave Steele before passing out, Steele and his lackey break into Parsons’ home and kill his wife and unborn child. They attempt to kill Parsons himself, but they come up short. Yet, they have left him very damaged. With only vengeance running through his mind, Glen Parsons finds himself making it his mission to track down the killers of the world and end their lives.

There’s a definitive love for genre cinema felt within Foresight Killer Instinct. While this also makes it very derivative in many ways, the movie is also made a more fun experience because of this in many ways. I can’t be convinced that the filmmakers didn’t know how exaggerated their movie was becoming. Some of the characters and their interactions are so over-the-top that they become nearly humorous. The character Steele, the crooked police detective who is more criminal than cop, is the prime example of this. Played to the absolute hilt, his character is threatening, but at the same time he is an over-simplification of every dick’ish police officer that we have ever seen in film. Although this is a movie made by actors who were apparent amateurs, many members of the cast are surprisingly strong and show a decent amount of promise.

The plot often focuses on a very obvious reference to Stephen King’s The Dead Zone, but the references don’t extend very far other than in the fact that our lead has a very similar power. Yet, the difference comes from the combination of various other things that are borrowed throughout the course of the movie, and this actually gives the title an aura of unpredictability. There’s an undercover cop subplot, some dramatic gore that looks as if it were pulled from a decent Troma film, a burgeoning drug war that seems as if it is going to escalate at any moment, and a number of very peculiar sideline characters who walk in and out of our story. Indeed, even our main protagonist fairly peculiar. He can hardly be considered the most sane of individuals. During his introduction, when we first see him use his power, we see just how intense he is when "absorbing the memories" of the dead. Shaking and convulsing as if he were having a seizure, the character becomes more insane as the story presses along. When he goes into revenge mode searching for anyone who has committed murder, he becomes a frothy mouthed demon. The fun thing is that at the start of this movie, there was nothing that pointed in this direction. While the movie surely loves being a genre title, at least they borrow enough that the film somehow becomes original again despite having trace elements from numerous other titles.

Foresight Killer Instinct is hardly a great film, but it is certainly done in a way that makes it something unique. A mix of various ideas that probably shouldn’t work, but somehow do, Cunningham and his crew show that they have it in them to make something compelling to watch. Whether or not all audiences will be able to get past some of the amateurish acting, that is another thing, but for those who can forgive some of the small hiccups, they might find a pretty fun little adventure. You can read more about the film via the official website: http://www.cce13.com