Just in time for Halloween, independent sci-fi thriller Nightmare Code, an eerie and thought-provoking film about employees, computerized behavior recognition, and the future of the workplace.
Nightmare Code follows a new hire (Andrew J. West of “The Walking Dead”). He’s a hotshot computer programmer at a troubled startup hired to finish the company’s product on a tight deadline in the wake of the murderous rampage and suicide of the previous programmer.
Nightmare Code takes workforce analytics to its furthest conclusion. It’s like The Shining, set in the HR department, as told by HAL from 2001. Considering the surge in optimized hiring through assessments, the film’s message is relevant as it asks: What if the network system, in this case at work, knew what you were thinking before you did? What if your seemingly innocent behavior was being analyzed and judged?
“Above all, we made Nightmare Code to open up a relevant conversation,” says Mark Netter, the film’s director, “asking how our mastery of computer code is changing our basic human behavior. Do we still control our networks, or are we willingly allowing our networks to take control of us?”
In the film, the company’s network can immediately uncover an employee’s apparent intentions. Eventually the program takes on a life of its own, with startling ramifications. Nightmare Code will definitely make you look twice at the employee assessment or innocuous surveillance cameras. Stylish and intelligent, Nightmare Code took the top prize at this year’s Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival.