Upgrade ★★★½

Upgrade is the gritty little sci-fi B-movie that no-one saw coming, it might well be the biggest surprise of the year.

An audacious fusion of Black Mirror-esque cyberpunk, grindhouse and old fashioned revenge thriller, writer and director Leigh Whannell never loses sight of his modest goals, offering a fascinating glimpse of a believably not far off dystopian future whilst satisfying genre fans with brutal violence and heavily stylised action. Even horror lovers will be placated by the satisfyingly gruesome appendage snapping.

For a movie that revels in shameless homages to the classics it is indebted to and in the sheer amount of fun its having there's a surprising amount of intelligence in the script that sets it apart from the countless low budget revengers you find on the shelves of Poundland. Brutish and perfectly paced, it wastes no time across its lean runtime and boasts eye-catching cinematography and set design that more than justifies its theatrical release. Whannell has had plenty of experience writing for the Saw and Insidious franchises but as only his second directorial effort, things are looking promising for the Aussie.

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