There have always been movies about contagions and viruses, but Implanted, by chance, abuts the worst the world has seen since early last century.
It's not a story about a virus, though.
Fabien Dufils and David Bourgie have written a tale that comes on the tail end of what was surely madness if our last two years are any indication.
We've seen how the scientific community not only rises to the challenge provided by such catastrophes, but we've also seen how some hope to profit no matter the cost.
Implanted isn't the scientific community doing good deeds; it's a for-profit nightmare hoping to capitalize off of fears that arose during tough times.
Michelle Girolami stars as Sarah, a young woman who decides to volunteer as a test subject for an experimental nanochip that's implanted into her cerebral cortex to ensure her health and happiness.
Sarah doesn't buy into what Dynamic Health Cure is selling; her mother's advancing Alzheimer's and her shaky employment situation makes the money she'll receive for participating pretty attractive.
If there are two terms I never want to be associated with anything that will be implanted into my body, experimental and AI come to mind.
Honestly, AI takes the lead since we know so little about it and, at least in entertainment, the promise always outweighs results.
Even worse, the results often suggest that your life is about to become hellish. If only Sarah had thought of that.
And this nanochip is really invasive and evasive. The AI, called LEXX, is programmed to take control of its host upon any inkling of disease or illness.
The idea is to keep people healthy, but LEXX takes a troubling turn, blackmailing the user with unendurable pain should they not take care of themselves.
When Sarah wants to rid herself of the chip, LEXX raises the stakes, forcing Sarah (and others like her) to commit horrendous crimes lest they be held captive to the crippling ways the AI can hurt them.
That wasn't the way I would have wanted to story to unfold. Crime feels too derivative and the easiest route to take for what could be a complex journey into the world of AI.
But when I got those thoughts, I also realized that my perception of that is tainted by what we just experienced, and I'd like to think that if the writers had written this after the pandemic, their story might have changed.
So, what's good?
Implanted is a low-budget film, but Girolami acts well beyond expectations. Things take a dark turn for her relatively quickly, but Girolami is challenged to show Sarah from all sides through flashbacks and even a slight time jump.
What she brings to Sarah makes the movie worth watching. She brings to mind a young Lori Petty with the same veracity and quirkiness that makes Petty so successful.
Dufils directing is on point, as well. It's a fast-paced film that never loses momentum, but his direction ensures the details are never lost along the way.
It's their combination of skills and talent that pull this out of the low-budget film category to a place that, at the very least, that there is a lot to think about before society is ready to advance to a similar stage.
With vaccine passports and virus tracking, it's not a stretch to think that someone out there isn't vying to be the first to market with a wide-ranging health and welfare implant.
So, Implanted doesn't mirror real life, but it sure gives you possibilities to think about.
Implanted is available on most VOD platforms.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.