Upgrade is set up as a colorful near-future thriller, but it’s actually pure body horror
Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our brief breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the 2018 SXSW Interactive Festival.
Leigh Whannell’s Blumhouse collaboration Upgrade premiered at SXSW in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Whannell is the Australian director best known for writing the first three installments of the Saw franchise and all four Insidious movies, so his expertise has long been megaplex horror and critical disdain. This movie — smaller and financed by the most acclaimed horror producer of the last decade — is something new for him.
Upgrade was introduced by Blumhouse boss Jason Blum, who used his time onstage to inject a SXSW volunteer with some kind of neural…