A Scanner Darkly [2006] Movie Review Recommendation

A Scanner Darkly [2006]

Based on a novel by Philip K Dick and directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Tape, The School of Rock), A Scanner Darkly is a strange movie. This is the eight movie that was based on Philip’s novels and considering how well some of them did, they decided to go all out on this one using a strange style of animation. Blade Runner was, of course, the first one, with Total Recall and Screamers following the path. Fuck me, now that I think about it, these were some of my favorite movies growing up along with The Thing and Alien. The technique is called interpolated rotoscope and it consists of artists manually drawing over each frame of footage. The results are truly amazing, probably because Linklater already did a similar movie called Waking Life, back in 2001. If you take all this and mix it together, you get a movie that will be here to stay. I’m guessing it will be one of those movies that people in the future will watch, wondering how did the primitive human came up with such concepts. This is a science fiction thriller, set in a dystopian future that seems more and more like an inevitability. Especially with if you take into an account the fact that not only this book, but also many other science fiction works are basically sounding warning alarms about the future. And they have been doing for quite some time.

A Scanner Darkly [2006] Movie Review Recommendation PosterBob Arctor is a man with a lot of problems. After America lost the war on drugs, a new and powerful substance D has become the drug of choice. Bob is a police officer tasked with finding and delivering men and women who are dealing this drug. He himself being a drug addict, Bob is able to infiltrate the network and work with these people. As events start to unfold, he slowly starts questioning the basic premises of just about everything…

Based Philip’s own drug experiences, this is above all, an honest movie about drugs. There are so many interesting concepts and visions that I just have to mention a few: ever-changing suits that conceal identity, huge surveillance system, state policies… The ever present question of morality and choices we make every day is further blurred by the drug use, creating this strange world of concepts, theories and bare human existence. The drugs are a key factor here, unlocking different plains of existence and revealing the “truth” to the users at great cost. Something the Philip felt on his own skin. I think that by now you have either identified with this or you found this whole thing too abstract, so depending on your findings, I recommend you this phenomenal movie. If you like things like this, you will love this one and if you don’t, why don’t expand the horizons with something new and interesting.


Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Rory Cochrane, Robert Downey Jr., Mitch Baker, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson

Fun Facts: Based on Philip K. Dick’s personal drug experiences.


IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405296/

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