Harsh Reality: Iain Marcks Distracts From Social Decay With VR Thriller

Energeia Films

Harsh Reality, the latest short film by writer-director Iain Marcks and Energeia Films, wants viewers to soothe their anxiety away and grin until depression is a faint memory. Ignoring the world and all that’s wrong with it is easier than ever before thanks to experimental technology, and it looks as unsettling as sounds.

Harsh Reality takes place in Central City, a crumbling metropolis that’s rescued by intrepid banks that reinforce its infrastructure in their image. People now live under the rule of the Central Provisional Authority Corporation, a privatized government that applies laws and enforcement through a cost-benefit analysis that divides people and gives them reason to withdraw from society. In an age of corroding ties between people and injurious technology, citizens of Central City must ask themselves if they prefer to substitute reality with simulation or engage in a hostile takeover of their own.

Marcks has been looking at the absurd from a speculative vantage for some time, and his short films highlight some weird takes on where people do and don’t fit in the world. Hum, Switched, and his other shorts have grabbed their fair share of accolades since their release, but film fans have likely seen Marcks’s work on the big screen.

Marcks has applied his visual effects expertise to action movies like Resident Evil: Extinction, spy thrillers like Salt, and he even took part in bringing horror to life in Stephen King’s The Mist. Helping him create his vision of a bleak tomorrow are industry veterans like Eduardo Mayen (From Dusk Till Dawn: the Series) and synth-pop musician Antoni Maiovvi.

Harsh Reality blends classic sci-fi with a touch of madness, reminiscent of the works of Rod Serling, Philip K. Dick, and Douglas Rushkoff. A perfect way to sum up a high-tech world where the opinion of life’s value is quite low. In order for viewers to see it before the year ends, sci-fi film fans might have to give Marcks a hand.

Prospective investors can option to receive Blu-ray and HD download versions of Harsh Reality, Maiovvi’s original score for the film, a copy of the experimental action simulation SUPERHOT, an autographed issue of American Cinematographer, a signed copy of a Douglas Rushkoff original, and a lot more.

Harsh Reality is in pre-production, but viewers can help get it finished by visiting the Indiegogo page to learn how.

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Written by Daniel Rodriguez
Daniel Rodriguez is a freelance writer and author from New York City.
1 Comment
  1. Just thought I’d mention, if anyone is curious, that the goggle/headphone thing in the thumbnail image is an Avegant Glyph HMD. Also, for anyone interested the goggles are running around $189 and are okay overall.


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