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Phasma Ex Machina

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Phasma Ex Machina

World Premiere

  • USA 2010
  • 86 min
  • HD
  • English


Sci-Fi / FantasyHorror

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“A low budget genre buster that defies easy categorization into either the scifi or horror worlds while inviting comparisons to the likes of PRIMER or THE SIXTH SENSE” — AINT IT COOL


Director: Matt Osterman
Screenplay: Matt Osterman
Cast: Sasha Andreev, Max Hauser, Matthew Feeney
Producers: Jennifer Kramer
Print Source: XYZ Films (sales agent)



Matt Osterman’s PHASMA EX MACHINA is a different sort of ghost story, a story where the ghosts are symbols of loss and longing as much, if not more, than they are of anger and fear. Its hero does not attempt to exorcise or escape his ghosts but instead works obsessively to bring them back.

Matt Osterman’s PHASMA EX MACHINA is a different sort of science fiction story as well, one in which all of the technology is available at the local surplus shop and soldered together by hand in a garage. It’s not glossy or shiny but hand-assembled and cranky and frustrating.

Sasha Andreev stars as Cody, a young man so consumed by grief and guilt over his parents’ death that he descends to the brink of obsession, trying to build a machine that can bring by the souls of his lost family. In the process he teeters ever closer to forgetting that not all of his family is dead, that he is responsible now for the care of his younger brother James. As he edges closer to bringing back the past, he also moves closer to losing his grip on the present and when he finally succeeds, what comes back is not entirely what he expects.

A unique fusion of science fiction and the supernatural, PHASMA EX MACHINA will surely draw comparisons to the likes of PRIMER and other high-concept, low-budget genre efforts. The great benefit of the steady increase in quality and corresponding decrease in cost of professional-grade video equipment is that it allows directors like Osterman to shine based on talent rather than budget. It’s the sort of film that could not exist in the studio world, one that relies on character and empathy as much as—if not more than—on bumps and scares, and Osterman proves himself to be a compelling talent. With a strong performance from leading man Andreev as his base, Osterman turns in a debut film that neatly balances pathos and protons.

—Todd Brown

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