Steve Hutchison reviews 100 amazing horror films from the 1990s. Each film is analyzed and discussed with a synopsis and a rating. The movies are ranked from best to worst. How many have you seen?
Romancing the phone
Treating horror like it needs some kind of template has led to bad films. A.M.I. starts the way several supernatural thrillers do; dark, mysterious, then someone gets kidnapped or killed, which is followed by a high school scene to cheer us up, leading to a whole act of exposition. A.M.I. stands for artificial machine intelligence, which is completely different from artificial intelligence. Not.
This kind of A.I. is an oversimplification of what computers can do. And, to believe a teenager would develop a genuine relationship with her phone is a little excessive, but this is what science fiction is, so we play along. There are interesting concepts at play; some hit, some miss. I was reminded at times of 976-Evil, but without the cheese and the eccentricity.
The carpe diem approach may not make A.M.I. age so well. Building a supernatural mythos around a cell phone can only take you so far, but producers only care about today’s sales. The movie’s entertaining, but it’s also quite generic despite an interesting hook. The actors are talented, the budget significant; the screenplay is problematic. This is a complicated film. Keep it simple, stupid!