Average: 3.7 (9 votes)
The Technological Thriller
Christchurch > 03

Good consistent special effects!
I would have liked to see more punch to the ending. The main character just ended up back where they were at the start.
Loved the rain / anger sounds when Claire locked him in.

This movie was so well done! Graphics were amazing and story line was very strong. Loved the story. Very strong movie!

Really stylish looking film - the effects and graphics were pretty swish - you do have to search the screen for some of the identifiers though. This is a good opportunity to help tell parts of the story visually.
Wasn't too keen on the needed to ramp up a few more notches so the dude could flip out .... making tea wrong just didn't really seem like a good excuse to lose it.
Loved the concept though and the perspective is awesome. Great to see something pretty unique in the comp - well done guys.


A (young?) man sets up a new programme (Claire) on his home system that doesn't quite operate as he expected.

Dystography have made a habit of doing stylish, slick films and so I expected Tech Thriller to be right up their alley. And for the most part it was. Great on-screen displays that conveyed information to the audience although I believe I missed quite a bit so a rewatch is in order. Like others have mentioned the catalyst for the ending seemed a little weak but at least you tried to move away from the typical massive meltdown. In terms of Ultra I guess the Claire system was in its infancy so cleverly gets in as one of the main characters and the teaching of it further establishes this. I wasn't convinced that the male lead was a child though. However, this may have been covered by some of the on-screen graphics and I simply missed it!

Another strong effort from Dystography. Should make the 25 cut and beyond.

I loved this but at the end I was pretty confused cause I was waiting for a child to come onto screen or like a cat or something but I've just had the revelation after reading these reviews that it was the AI, the picture book and everything omgoshh that got me!! Well freaking done.

An enjoyable movie, however unsure how it will be judged as Ultra using the AI as a new born. Really liked the status updated in the bottom corner a nice touch


I'm a little bit torn on this one. Technically it was great - I loved the direction, VFX, and sound design. It was all top notch, and perfectly claustrophobic in the best techno thriller genre kind of way. I thought the lead performance was good, and the story built coherently even if the resolution fell a little bit flat. My biggest nitpick, though, is I feel like this doesn't really meet the Ultra standards. If the point of doing Ultra is to add another challenge to the mix, then skirting the requirement of kids and animals by writing it as a baby AI feels like a cheat to me. If you didn't actually want to commit to that level of competition, you should have just done a regular film. Ultimately, that decision of whether it was valid was up to the judges, and obviously they let it through. Looking forward to seeing what you bring to the table next year!

Alexander Jones
city manager

When I saw you guys got "Technological Thriller" as your genre, I was so stoked, it feels like this genre was made for Dystography Studios.

The end result is as incredible as I was hoping. I've always been more of a fan of your comedies than your dramas, but "Claire" has completely flipped that now as it may just be my favourite film of yours to date. It's a sad nuanced story which has really grown on me, and thanks to those on screen dialogue boxes and data, probably has the most rewatch value out of any 48hour film I've ever seen.

Two things I really loved about this film:

1. You completely subvert the "Techno Thriller" trope by switching the roles around. We're so used to seeing the robot built to protect humans learn that controlling/killing them is the only way to do it, but here, with Claire as our protagonist, it's actually a thriller from HER perspective and not the human, who simply turns her off in the end. A couple of people have complained that the ending lacks a punch, but I think this is only if you consider it to be Josh's story (and because it's Ultra it's NOT, it's the child AI's story). If you watch the film as Claire's story, it's a terrifying ending. A techno thriller where the human is the bad guy and the robot is the one you fear for. What a great idea.

2. You completely subvert ULTRA in a way that toed to line of disqualification to the point where I actually had to send this film to 48hours HQ to make sure it counted! Congratulations guys, probably the most internally controversial Ultra this year. HOWEVER, while the child aspect is really downplayed here (and you could have totally remedied this by having an actual child voice Claire, or establish that Josh is 17), ultimately "Claire" is a child centric story. It's a bout a child watching their parent lose themselves to self destructive behaviour, and despite their best efforts, they're unable to protect them. This is a beautifully tragic child experience, and I'm sure I'll catch a lot of flack for saying this, but while it wouldn't have been the most difficult Ultra to pull off, for my money it's the most conceptual Ultra which put the most thought into how to be clever with it.

Matt's acting is fantastic as well, felt like a very real character, and I'll give the sound design a shout out too. Great stuff team.

As for your title "Claire" is the obvious and correct choice. Top marks.

Wow! This is easily my favourite Dystography Studios film. You guys are doing some fantastic drama work as my next favourite is your reverse time one from a few years ago.

This film was really enjoyable for me and the overlay graphics, and sound design was INCREDIBLE!!!

I was going to write a review about how the ending was ever so slightly soft and that I wanted to see the lead actor suffer more consequences but after reading AJs review I have a whole new perspective and can not wait to watch it again. I didn't realise this was an Ultra entry and now that I do and am looking at the story form the perspective of Claire it completely changes it. I now think its perfect.

So well done for making one of the most rewatchable films of 2018.


This film looked and sounded great. The VFX and and sound design were incredibly strong, and completely sold a story which may have come across a little flat otherwise. I appreciate AJ's summary above, that the story may well be intended from Claire's perspective (it certainly was from her POV), but in the moment I thought it was Josh's story, and as a result was disappointed that it seemed like he was never in any real danger. Viewing it from Claire's perspective does make it more thrilling in hindsight, I don't think I ever would have considered that angle without reading other reviews. Looking forward to seeing it again.