Discontinued: Trevor Peckham’s Mind-Bending Indie Odyssey

Director: Trevor Peckham

Cast: Ashley Hutchinson, Langston Fishburne, Michael Bonini, Robert Picardo

Running time: 93 mins 

Co-written and directed by Trevor Peckham, this low budget indie sci-fi movie grapples with some big ideas. The result is a thoughtful, smartly acted drama that’s worth seeking out. 

Set in present day USA, the film centres on Sarah (Ashley Hutchinson), a twenty-something millennial who’s struggling with anxiety and suicidal thoughts. One night, as she’s contemplating an overdose on pills, she watches a bizarre broadcast, in which it is revealed that all human life has, in fact, been a simulated reality, created by higher beings, and that consequently, the world as she knows it will end within a week. 

The higher beings in question kindly offer everyone on the planet a choice: they can have their consciousness moved to a more basic server and relive their five best memories over and over again, or they can choose to stay in the world that is left behind. With her assigned AI assistant (Langston Fishburne) acting as her guide, Sarah decides to take the latter option, and unexpectedly finds herself experiencing true happiness for the first time in her life. 

As is to be expected with a plot like this, the script features plenty of thematically meaty conversation, as Sarah explores the true meaning of existence. To that end, there’s a blackly comic tinge to the story throughout – it’s very Douglas Adams, to the point where you fully expect the number 42 (famously the answer to the question of Life, the Universe and Everything) to pop up at some point. 

In addition to exploring the true meaning of life, the script has something to say about the nature of free will and happiness, while making astute observations about mental health, depression and – by implication – religion. Throughout, Sarah proves a fascinating character, as she achieves a great degree of self-actualisation, despite the fact that everything she knows has disappeared. In other words, it’s the end of the world as she knows it, and she feels fine. 

Hutchinson is excellent as Sarah, carefully calibrating the steps of her emotional journey, so that it’s a pleasure to watch her come out of herself, despite the doom and gloom-laden circumstances. There’s also strong support from Fishburne – who has a wonderfully calming presence – and from Michael Bonini as Tucker, an obnoxious douchebag Sarah met on a blind date before the world ended, who keeps popping up again. 

As the above suggests, there are moments of black comedy in the film, while the script also takes an unexpected  direction towards the end that is genuinely chilling, as it posits a world without moral or ethical responsibility or consequences. Arguably, the film could have explored that idea a little further, but it certainly leaves you with something to think about. 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Matthew Turner 

Action Reloaded


  • Matthew Turner

    A lifelong film fanatic, Matthew Turner (FilmFan1971) is a London-based critic and author, as well as the co-host of Fatal Attractions, a podcast on erotic thrillers. His favourite film is Vertigo and he hasn't missed an episode of EastEnders since 1998.