The new horror film Sequence Break concerns a very strange love story indeed.
It’s about “a love triangle between a man, and a woman, and a video arcade machine,” writer-director Graham Skipper tells EW. “I like to call it a Cronenbergian trip down the rabbit hole [with] goopy body horror, lots of slime, and a real journey into the dark recesses of the mind.”
Skipper was partly inspired to make the film by an urban myth about an arcade game called Polybius.
“In short, the Polybius myth is that there was a game somewhere in the Pacific Northwest that was this weird cabinet that would give you hallucinations, or maybe there were mind-control elements that would give you seizures, or some people died — and then the game just disappeared,” says Skipper. “I read [about] that when I was still in college and I thought it was really fascinating, and when [I had] this idea for a guy caught between his two loves, I thought, ‘Oh, this is a great idea to meld these two ideas.’”
In Sequence Break, the guy in question is a video game repairman named Oz, played by Chase Williamson, who Skipper costarred with in the 2016 horror movie Beyond the Gates.
“Working on Beyond the Gates, we really bonded and became good friends,” Skipper says. “Seeing how natural he was, and how easy it was for him to immediately drop in any kind of bizarre situation and make it totally feel real and honest, I just went, ‘This is the perfect guy.’ … Man, I had to put him through the ringer, and he does so much weird stuff in this, and it was so easy to have somebody like him. I could just tell him, ‘Okay, you’re going to do this,’ and he’d go, ‘Okay!’”
Sequence Break made its world premiere at last year’s Chattanooga Film Festival, where it prompted a notable reaction from at least one audience member.
“I was at the sort-of after-party, which was at an arcade,” Skipper recalls. “We were standing there and I overheard some woman talking to her friend and saying, ‘Is it weird that I walked out of that movie and I feel kind of horny?’ I went, ‘That is so great!’”
Sequence Break costars Fabianne Therese, Lyle Kanouse, and John Dinan and is available now on the streaming service Shudder. Watch an exclusive clip from the film above.