“Man gets turned into a cybernetic killing machine” isn’t exactly an unheard-of concept for a science fiction movie, but few of them contain a first trailer as shockingly brutal (and hilarious) as the one for Upgrade. The 2018 film from Blumhouse just burst onto the web in a big way, with a trailer that highlights just how gory and violent this new sci-fi actioner can be.
The film stars Logan Marshall-Green, who you might recognize from the likes of Prometheus, but we at Paste admire for his great starring role in Karyn Kusama’s wonderful 2015 horror film The Invitation. He plays a quadriplegic man who is given a second chance at mobility when he has an experimental chip installed in his spinal column to “pilot his body.” He then uses his newfound mobility to get even with the men who killed his wife, Death Wish-style.
That all seems like a normal enough premise for a sci-fi action movie, but the actual footage in the trailer sends things completely over the top. The first action scene we’re shown is a hilarious mixture of physical comedy and brutal hand-to-hand combat, as Marshall-Green wonderfully portrays the utter confusion and horror of a man who has no control over how his body beats up a guy. The level of gore in general is shockingly pronounced for a film trailer, making us excited as hell for the possibilities in the full feature. It certainly earns a red band.
Upgrade is directed by Leigh Whannell, known for his writing and production partnerships with James Wan on the Saw and Insidious series, of which Whannell has directed Insidious: Chapter 3. Upgrade is Whannell’s second feature as director, and it certainly seems like a promising departure from the supernatural horror films he’s largely been associated with. The film premiered at SXSW, winning the audience award during midnight screenings—all signs point to yes, as far as our interest is concerned.
The film is scheduled for what is presumably a limited release via OTL Releasing on June 1, 2018.