Tribeca 2021 Review: ULTRASOUND, Indie Sci-fi Keeps You Guessing Right Until The Very End

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Tribeca 2021 Review: ULTRASOUND, Indie Sci-fi Keeps You Guessing Right Until The Very End
Heading home during a heavy rainstorm, Glen’s car breaks down. He spots a house nearby and finds help from a chummy yet odd middle-aged man, Arthur, and his much younger wife, Cyndi. After a couple drinks and a warm shower, Arthur makes Glen an offer he cannot believe he is making, but ultimately agrees to. Back home, in the same city, a beautiful, young woman, Katie, is beginning to feel the burden of a secret romantic relationship that keeps her out of sight and stuck at home. And finally, Shannon starts a job at an unremarkable research facility, helping carry out an experiment, which soon plants a seed of doubt in her mind about what good it really is doing. As strange as it may sound, all three of these people are connected and they all lead back to the same person. How are all three of these seemingly unrelated stories connected? 
Producer Rob Schroeder makes his feature film debut with Ultrasound, a high concept indie sci fi mystery about the power of suggestion and manipulation.The story comes from Conor Stechschulte’s adaptation of his own graphic novel series, Generous Bosom. 
A story based on ideas is presented in an esthetique that is a mix of Shop Class DIY and retrofuturism, using mostly analog tools that look like they’ve been resurrected from a Cold War bunker or built back at the home from supplies picked up at your local hardware and electronics shop. It compliments acts of manipulation that work at our most basic levels so why overwhelm the simplicity of the manipulation with fancy doo-dads and gizmos? 
Bob Stephenson is likely the most familiar face in the cast. A character actor in films and television series he immediately creates an air of uneasiness with his over friendly character, Arthur. Fans of Mad Men will recognize Vincent Kartheiser while Chelsea Lopez has done a string of indie flicks, including Xander Robin’s Are We Not Cats
It is always a challenge, or risk, to review a film that relies on elements of surprise and discovery. A film that you cannot go into any great detail on, at risk of spoiling everything, does not make for a lengthy review. 
While it is a bit confounding at first, for those looking for sharp sci-fi that will keep you guessing to the last frame, Ultrasound is going to be your new jam. Ultrasound is rife with these moments, moments that may just make you sputter select choices of words in awe, delight, perhaps confusion. 
At first it’s all a ball of confusion as you have no idea what the connection is with any of these storylines in this multiple narrative. But they’re all part of Ultrasound’s macro story and all will make some sense by the end. Schroeder skillfully navigates all the twists and turns with quiet confidence. Fans of low-key, lo-fi indie sci-fi thrillers that are based on ideas and theorem will find comfort in Ultrasound. If you'e looking for a bit of mental gymnastics, something to reinvigorate your cognitive functions and skills of perception the twists and turns that this story makes all the way to the end will keep you on your toes. 
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