It's déjà vu all over again. The Netflix original movie, ARQ features a hero who just can't seem to stop waking up at the beginning of the same day, over and over again. This may have a familiar plot device to Groundhog Day, or the more recent Edge of Tomorrow, but ARQ appears to be a separate animal - a sci-fi thriller, along the lines of The Twilight Zone, or Duncan Jones' Moon and Source Code.
Filmed in Toronto on a reportedly lean budget, ARQ was written and directed by Tony Elliott (Orphan Black). The film stars Robbie Amell, who recently appeared in Nine Lives and Rachael Taylor who Netflix aficionados will recognize from Jessica Jones. Netflix has been doubling down on original content in recent years, exclusively distributing films like The Little Prince, Beasts of No Nation, and Pee-wee's Big Holiday as well as a gaggle of well-known shows like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and Bojack Horseman.
Netflix recently released a trailer for ARQ (see above) in the hopes of convincing viewers to give this a watch when it goes later in September. It looks like it may be another surprise hit from the digital distributor. Netflix's official synopsis reads:
"In a dystopian future, an engineer trapped in a house and surrounded by a mysterious gang of masked intruders must protect a technology that could deliver unlimited energy and end the wars that have consumed the world."
With theaters more often becoming the province of mega-budget tentpole extravaganzas, it's good to see smaller films finding life through digital distribution. Netflix is beginning to make a habit of sneaking sleeper hits onto their platform with relatively little fanfare. (See the cultural megaton of Stranger Things for the most recent example of this.) Whether or not ARQ will draw the same level of attention has yet to be seen, but with a creative lead from the well received Orphan Black at the helm, it seems like the odds are in its favor.
Has the trailer for ARQ piqued your interest enough to give it a shot? Sound off in the comments section, and stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates and impressions on the Netflix original as they hit.
ARQ will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9th, 2016, and arrive on Netflix, September 16th, 2016.