Uncanny (film)

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Directed byMatthew Leutwyler
Produced by
  • Sim Sarna
  • Nora Bafus
Written byShahin Chandrasoma
Music byCraig Richey
CinematographyRoss Richardson
Edited byMatthew Leutwyler
Accelerated Matter
Distributed byRLJ Entertainment
Release date
  • January 31, 2015 (2015-01-31) (SBIFF)
  • January 31, 2015 (2015-01-31) (United States)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States

Uncanny is a 2015 American science fiction film directed by Matthew Leutwyler and based on a screenplay by Shahin Chandrasoma. It is about the world's first "perfect" artificial intelligence (David Clayton Rogers) that begins to exhibit startling and unnerving emergent behavior when a reporter (Lucy Griffiths) begins a relationship with the scientist (Mark Webber) who created it.


David Kressen, a child prodigy, graduated MIT a decade ago at age 19, after receiving multiple degrees in mechanical and computer engineering. Since then, he has not been seen. On the day of his graduation, he was approached by Simon Castle, billionaire CEO and founder of Kestrel Computing. Castle made him an offer impossible to refuse. David went to Workspace 18, part of a program of intellectual angel investments that Castle makes to genius-level individuals to further the high level science they practice. For the last ten years, David has been working tirelessly in Workspace 18, perfecting his ultimate creation: Adam, an artificial intelligence that is indistinguishable from an actual human being.

Joy Andrews is a reporter brought in for a week of exclusive access to do a series of interviews about Adam and his creator. She initially regards the robot with curiosity but as their interactions build, Adam seems to respond to her presence. David, who she initially thought of as arrogant, emerges as naive, hiding behind a formidable existence. As their friendship develops and grows into something more, Adam begins exhibiting peculiar emergent behavior impossible to program.

After Joy’s week of access comes to an end, she and David spend an evening together and grow intimate. The following morning Adam questions them and attempts to kiss Joy. He attacks them and knocks Joy out. When she awakens in the lab, she finds herself tied to a chair while Adam is apparently vivisecting David. Adam then removes an electronic data unit from David's abdomen, revealing that he is in fact David Kressen and David is the AI. The article was a facade so that they could test how realistic the technology is.

In a post-credits scene, Joy checks the results of a pregnancy test in her bathroom and reacts in a shocked manner.



Uncanny premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival[1] and made its international premiere at the 2015 Edinburgh International Film Festival.[2]


Ain't It Cool News called it "a rare breed of thoughtful, independent science fiction."[3] Sight & Sound Magazine wrote, "Confident, meticulously crafted.... written with sharp brilliance and performed with perfect nuance."[4] Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the script "remains too simplistic to become fully involving".[5]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an audience rating of 32%. The film won the Best Film Award at the Boston Sci-Fi Festival.


  1. ^ The Deadline Team (January 8, 2015). "‘McFarland USA’ To Close Santa Barbara Film Festival: Full Lineup". deadline.com.
  2. ^ http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/santa-barbara-international-film-festival-exclusive-ai-comes-to-life-in-clip-from-sci-fi-uncanny-20150128
  3. ^ Ain't It Cool News - Review
  4. ^ Bitel, Anton (2015-05-29). "Wormholes that turned: Sci-Fi-London 2015". Sight & Sound. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  5. ^ Lowe, Justin (2015-02-08). "'Uncanny': SBIFF Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-01-10.

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