Discontinued is a 2022 indie scifi drama directed by Trevor Packham from a story written by Packham and Michael Villucci. The movie stars Ashley Hutchinson, Langton Fishburne, Robert Picardo, Michael Bonini and Charlie Talbert. The story is about a depressed millennial who discovers that the world she knows is just a simulated version of reality that is being shut down. Suddenly, she’s the only one who wants to stick around.
S P O I L E R S
Discontinued has a good premise, especially with a depressed millennial as the main character. The premise should appeal to anyone who has depressive tendencies or anxiety disorders as it seems to confirm the worldview of these types of personalities. You know, the “world is against me” kind of attitude which drives many depressives into despair. “Why bother?” is the rallying cry of these group of people.
Unfortunately, the problem that Discontinued has is exactly that Sarah, its main character, is unlikeable and not very relatable to most people out there. Even potential viewers who have the same personality as Sarah would balk at the idea of watching an entire movie with their worst memories, experiences and behaviours reflected back at them. That’s certainly how it felt. Yes, sounds good in theory but not so in reality.
So, Discontinued takes its plot and characterisation to its logical conclusion. When Sarah is given a choice of remaining in this virtual reality or be transported to a kind of heaven where she would relive her best memories, she chooses the former. Typical, no? But that robs the movie then of any plot interest or momentum, as nothing really happens from here on.
Sure, there’s an ironic development when Sarah is reunited with Tucker – a previous douchebag date – due to him making the same decision as her. However, Sarah is so adamant about disconnecting that she rejects Tucker’s advances and ultimately kills him (accidentally!), an incident which triggers a depressive spiral for her, leading her to reconsider her previous decision. Utterly unsatisfying denouement! No feel good vibes at the end, only the crushing realisation that life is pointless. Yikes! Avoid.
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