Leigh Whannell’s newest directorial effort Upgrade has been making some impressive strides since it’s premiere at SXSW. An official selection of the Midnighters Program, Whannell’s sci-fi/action/thriller follows a man in a dystopsian near-future battling with a powerful computer chip with a mind of it’s own. Fresh on the festival circuit, Upgrade has been collecting numerous positive reviews from critics and audience members alike. As of this writing, the film holds a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 3.6/5 on Letterboxd.

Last week, Leigh Whannell (Insidious, Saw) was presented with the Midnighters audience award for Upgrade. And let’s be honest, the audience awards are what really matter at festivals. As critics, we do our best to make strong recommendations, but if you woke up one morning to 99+ Twitter notifications telling you to watch a specific movie, you would absolutely listen to the crowd.

Upgrade 2018

Official Synopsis:

Grey Trace, a technophobe in a utopian near-future when computers control nearly everything – from cars to crime-surveillance – is paralyzed in a freak mugging that leaves his wife dead. But when a billionaire technologist offers him an experimental paralysis cure – an implanted computer chip called STEM – Grey finds that the chip has a voice and a mind of its own. Together Grey and STEM embark on a mission to avenge his wife’s death.


Also included in this year’s Midnighters Program at SXSW Film Festival, are Rooster Teeth’s Blood FestBlumhouse’s surprise Unfriended: Dark Web, and Jenn Wexler’s The Ranger.


Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, Upgrade stars Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, and Benedict Hardie. The film is produced by Jason Blum, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, and Kylie Du Fresne with Charles Layton, Rosemary Blight, and Ben Grant as executive producers. Upgrade is currently scheduled for release June 1, 2018. 


Are you excited to see Upgrade? Let us know in the comments below and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group.