SyFy has a released its newest feature Atomica with film vets Tom Sizemore, Dominic Monohagan, and somewhat newcomer Sarah Habel. Habel plays our lead character Abby Dixon. She is a safety inspector who ends up getting sent out to get a remote nuclear power plant back up and running properly. When she arrives there is something a little unsettling going on at the plant. Her suspicion grows and becomes entangled on what is and isn’t the truth at the facility. In this film the company Auxilisun has found a way to create power from using nuclear energy and the world has become reliant on it but at what cost? SyFy has had some great movies along the way but they have also had some flops so let’s see which of those Atomic falls into.
The first thing you notice about Atomica is its setting. This nuclear power plant actually feels more like an isolated spaceship when the characters are moving about inside the plant. This works out to be a huge upside to the film. Because of its look it does a great job of selling the isolation aspect of the film. The visual effects in this film are by far some of the best we have seen from SyFy films. Most of it has to do with a lot of the technology that is used at the plant itself. Think of it a little like Star Trek meets Minority Report. The technology is used almost as a tool to help explain some of what is going on this not so distant future. Honestly, I wish we had some of this cool tech! There is a scene were you get to see the battery life of a tablet and it says “17 months” can you imagine if that were only true! Maybe Atomica is on to something with this nuclear power concept.
What really stands out for me in this film are the great performances we get from each character. Sarah Habel is a fantastic lead for us. You can easily get behind her character and sympathize with her on a couple different levels. Dominic Monhagan does a great job of balancing the whole idea of whether or not you should trust his character. Tom Sizemore still is a pleasure to watch on screen. He has the least amount of screen time but makes every bit of it count. All these performances combined give the film every little thing to draw you in with its characters. With such a small cast this was incredibly helpful that the casting was chosen very wisely. The script itself is really nothing too elaborate or all that original at times but it’s very serviceable to the film.
Of all the SyFy films that I have seen over the years this is probably one of their best efforts. Realistically it’s a rather simple plot that is portrayed on screen with feverish intent by the actors. It’s atmosphere is very engaging and leaves that slightly eerie feeling you want from a film that is using isolation to capture it’s audience. It doesn’t busy itself with unnecessary sub plots and have disposable characters throughout. The direction by Dagen Merrill is really some of the best we have seen from him. All and all Atomica is a Sci-Fi thriller that is one to check out for sure. We don’t get enough Sci-Fi films and general so it’s nice to see one come across my desk that is worth the watch.