Indie horror seems to be the most popular genre for aspiring filmmakers to dabble in but it also is the genre that lives or dies by its monetary restrictions. Nightmare Code has high aspirations but ultimately, fails to deliver the horror.
The story is about a tech company looking to launch a new suite of software that can predict human actions. The last person to act as lead designer shot up the office and turned the gun on himself. The new guy they bring in is a hacker who has previously gotten into some trouble. Before long, the hard work and endless hours start affecting his mind...or is the program screwing with him? The more he looks into the program, the more he finds signs of a consciousness in it. And then bad things happen.
The found footage gimmick works pretty well on this one as there are constantly four screens active at once reflecting various webcams, security feeds and other intrusive eyes on our hero at all times. Like Timecode, it is intuitively easy to know which quadrant to watch. Unfortunately, and without giving away the plot, the ultimate revelations of the movie are too big for the modest budget. Some scenes are slightly laughable despite the earnest nature with which they are presented.
The cast is all game for what they need to do. They are sometimes called on for wild mood swings that don't always chart. The romantic subplot develops pretty organically. The presentation style keeps everything at arms length so it is hard to get too invested in anyone.
I would say it is not essential to see this. If you do watch it, there are a couple of clever things that will make you feel like you haven't completely wasted your time. Looking forward to seeing what else this crew has up its sleeve.