Pay close attention, y'all – things in the storyline are already revealed in this film even as the credits begin. Every so often, you come across something like "Look Into The Fire" that seems to be able to instantly entice you into watching - before the first word is even uttered. Full props to that; I think having your audience engaged as quickly as you find you are here is fantastic. It's not long at all afterward that you find yourself asking the first of many questions; how much information can someone really get by looking into your brain, and would you ever be okay with someone taking a complete look at every one of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions if that was possible? I suspect that there's not a single person in the human race that would willingly volunteer. Sure, in theory, it sounds extremely cool – but now think about how many random thoughts you've had for less than a second and whether or not you'd want to be judged on those. With or without context, our brains drift into the strangest of places. It's only our mouths that end up separating the fact from the fiction, and if some doctor or professional were to examine your mind without needing or requiring your explanation for what they see…well…again, would you let someone in to do that? What if they saw that you had a crush on your third-grade teacher? What if they discovered you felt like killing someone who cut you off in traffic the other day? What if the thought they found was a piece of information you heard - and was never even a part of your own story?
Look. I'll be the first to admit that I wouldn't want anyone out there getting under the hood of my machine - or examining my brainwaves without being able to justify or explain myself. I have no problem whatsoever tellin' you that I'm just about the last person that should pretend he's smart enough to have any kind of grip on what neuropsychology would be about - or how complex it probably really is. I sure like a great idea that'll get my brainwaves moving, though, and "Look Into The Fire" seemed to accomplish that so easily; it was like they already gave me a full examination and knew this movie would fit the bill.
In said film, as the team of four students continue towards the beginning of their experiments, you get that feeling like you're going to be in store for something similar to how "Flatliners" worked back in the 90s. "Flatliners" revolved around near-death experiences, "Look Into The Fire" attempts to be much more inclined to dive into the present - and potentially implant a concept into the brain to try and prove their hypothesis. As with all things science, the more you rush, the more you invite exceptions and trouble into the mix. All I know is that the beeping of a computer has never once proven to be a good thing. It's not long at all before the guidelines of their experimentation become warped to suit their situation, and as viewers, we know that's going to lead to some sort of chaos soon enough. Writer/director Tim Morrill does a remarkable job of moving this story forward at full speed, and the core four actors that portray these future scientists were definitely the right people for the job – actually, the whole cast is really damn good.
While I'd never dispute that science is an important thing and crucial to our evolution, I'd also be the first to tell you that messin' around with the ol' brainwaves might not be the greatest idea. It can be risky business under the dome, and "Look Into The Fire" certainly proves that hypothesis without question. If I know anything about neural stuff, I'd say that it's knowing that trying to play around with someone's brain when they've got a whole medicine cabinet already stocked & loaded for the coming apocalypse - that it's probably better that ya just don't instead, you following me? Complications are bound to arise in a scenario like that, and you betcha, they certainly do within the storyline of this film as it progresses.
What happens when you can't trust your own perception of reality, or what might separate fact from fiction? "Look Into The Fire" asks some extremely cool questions along the way and really gives your brain the kind of workout you should seriously enjoy. This movie is relentless in how it induces our curiosity through the many layers of its main idea and provides great twists as it plays on, adding in that decisive mystery/thriller combo we all tend to dig. For a while, it's probably fair to say that "Look Into The Fire" seems to end up somewhere between what we started with in "Flatliners" and then starts to drift towards something that might resemble "Misery" - if our main character Adam isn't careful. Maybe add something like "Inception" for good measure, but in real life, and medically based. Even after all the questions this film gets us to ask, one extremely relevant and unique observation comes straight to the forefront – what if your brain was examined, and something was discovered that you really didn't like about yourself and/or an event that you had no idea had even happened in your lifetime? What do you do then? "Look Into The Fire" perpetually makes us think and wonder what in the all-heck is going on – and it's a whole lot of fun trying to figure it out as it warps our sense of time & what reality is around us.
Lots of positives here. If there were anything to criticize, I'd say that it's likely going to revolve around it being a whole lot for the average viewer to absorb, for as quickly as the plotline begins, we do start to feel that wear and tear a little. It gets a bit on the layered side of things and a little confusing - even if you think you're as up to speed as you can be. But "Look Into The Fire" remains consistently interesting and engaging the entire time. I'm going with three and a half stars out of five here – it's clever stuff when it comes right down to it, with plenty of mischievous twists to keep you entertained, and it never stops turning the wheels in your brain as you try to figure out where the story really starts, and where it'll all end.