Bad Impulse Is In Selected Theaters And On-Demand
Reviewed by Simone Cromer: In an upper-middle-class Californian suburb, Bad Impulse introduces The Sharpes, a bright and cheery family enjoying their usual morning routine of the parents getting ready for work, and the three kids heading off to school.
As the local TV news reports a tragic murder-suicide of a family, the father, Henry Sharpe (Grant Bowler), and his wife Christine (Sonya Walger) are shocked by the news and are relieved that they and their children Anglea(Abi Ford), Mike(Nicholas Alexander), Sam(Oscar Debler) are safe, healthy, and happy.
When the family leaves the house, Henry receives an unexpected visit from a solicitor. The convincing stranger, Lou Branch, played by old school suave Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas) persuades Henry to give him just a few moments of his time to discuss an amazing cutting edge technology in home security. Henry is told that it’s a dangerous world out there and you must protect your family, here’s a brochure, and talk to your wife about it.
Shortly after meeting the mysterious solicitor, Henry has a meeting with his boss. The facade of All-American bliss comes crashing down when Henry is informed by his boss, that he must be the fall guy for millions of dollars that were mismanaged by his investment company. Attempts to file a lawsuit is immediately struck down by clear threats of violence and damage to his reputation if he doesn’t agree to the termination terms. In a state of shock, Henry goes home and is then brutally assaulted and warned to keep quiet about his firing. It would seem things could not get any worse.
The need to install the security system now becomes the number one priority and after discussing it with Christine they visit the IMP Security headquarters to finalize the deal and organize the installment. In the lobby are pictures of all the families that use the security system, giving the impression that generations of loyal customers use the product. They are told the benefit of this system is the use of an anklet that is in sync with a high tech security monitoring system installed into the house. Once attached to the ankle, the house will be in sync with the family and will protect them from outside harm. Reminiscent of the Black Mirror anthologies we already know this won’t end well.
The prospect of feeling safe is quickly shattered when the entire family begin to experience nightmares. They become easily agitated by stresses at work and at school. Christine becomes envious of a pretty young office assistant, their daughter Angela (Abbi Ford), once shy of boys now becomes more daring for their attention, and Mike (Nicholas Danner), once bullied is now defending himself against the bullies in brutal and vindictive ways.
Horrified by the disturbing breakdown and changes in her family, dealing with a tragic accident, and an indiscretion that led to bloodshed, Christine goes back to IMP Security to demand more answers about the security device that is making her family act impulsively in ways they never behaved before. She makes a startingly revelation in all the client family photos and runs back home to try to save her family because she knows why they have changed. Back at home, Henry is being encouraged by Lou, who is now showing his sinister intentions, to take care of his family, just like a man should under these stressful times. It now appears that the security system has made outside of the house safer than being inside.
Directed by Michelle Danner, Bad Impulse is a tense, paranoid American horror story about a family manipulated by technology and otherworldly evil that has them marked for terrible repercussions due to their blind belief that they were protecting their family. The smart set-design elevates the production value and aesthetics of this tantalizing thriller. Grant Bowler (True Blood, Defiance) gives a great performance of a man who had it all one day, and suddenly the life he has built is marked by an evil menace that intends to take his family and his soul.