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The Unexpected Sci-Fi Horror Movie That's Killing It On Amazon Prime Video

Say you're in the mood for some psychological sci-fi shenanigans, but you've already watched every episode of Black Mirror so many times that the end of "San Junipero" no longer makes you call in sick to work so you can weep into a pillow for two straight days. All that's left to do is shake your fist at an unfeeling sky and curse the British tradition of taking years-long breaks between television seasons, right? Wrong, friend. 

There's plenty of other science fiction in the world, designed with your panic attacks in mind. Take, for example, Black Box, the streaming video offering that's currently picking up steam on Amazon Prime Video.

The film comes courtesy of Welcome to the Blumhouse, a collaboration between Amazon Studios and Blumhouse that's set to bring a total of eight exclusive anthology releases to the streaming platform over the next year. Directed and co-written by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. in his feature-length debut, Black Box has all the earmarks of a classically unsettling slice of speculative fiction. Set in a world not far removed from our own, it explores the story of Nolan Wright, the survivor of a car crash that leaves him an amnesiac. Like any self-respecting, badly injured protagonist in a sci-fi horror film, Nolan turns to an experimental procedure in an attempt to patch up his leaky brain — only to experience questions of whether man's power over nature has gone too far.

Black Box is here to scramble your noggin

Black Box hit Amazon Prime Video back in October 2020, and it's been gaining momentum ever since — even earning a Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have been especially vocal about the quality of the film's performances. The work of Mamoudou Athie, who plays Nolan Wright, has repeatedly been singled out as one of Black Box's best features. The A.V. Club stated that he "sensitively navigates the film's games of identity hide and seek; he provokes our full sympathy, which the film then subverts and complicates with a decent second-act twist."

And oh, that twist. Black Box follows in the tradition of the anthology sci-fi pictures that paved the way for it, slap-chopping its audience's brains like fresh produce. The fun is in discovering the big reveal on your own, so we won't spoil it here, but it brings up hypotheticals that science fiction has been wrestling with for generations — tackling the nature of the soul and the morality of trying to shrug that pesky "mortality" monkey off humanity's collective back.

Black Box – along with its Welcome to the Blumhouse sister films The Lie, Evil Eye, and Nocturne — are currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, with four more entries slated for release through the rest of 2021.