Review: A Glitch in the Matrix – are we living in a computer game?

If you saw Rodney Ascher's mind-bending Room 237, you'll never be able to watch Kubrick's The Shining without looking for signs of subliminal trickery. Although, and here's the twist, you'll never know if that's down to Kubrick's horror or Ascher's documentary.

According to one of the subjects in Ascher's new film about "simulation theory", A Glitch In The Matrix could change a lot more than the way we look at haunted hotels. It could tear a hole in the very fabric of reality.

Here Ascher uses archive clips, animation and interviews to explore and playfully seed the notion that we are living in a simulation created in a technologically advanced "base reality". He gives voice to the theory's most notable adherents including the world's richest man Elon Musk and sci-fi writer Philip K Dick.

Sadly, he both overuses and underexamines firsthand accounts from less convincing talking heads who he disguises as video game avatars. One chap, who looks like a metal wolf, has noticed suspicious patterns in his daily life. It's a claim crying out for a rebuttal from a statistician or a psychologist.

More intriguing is the notion that technology and popular culture are changing the way we view the world.

A murderer talks about his obsession with The Matrix movies and remembers how shocked he was to see blood rather than pixels gushing from his victim.

Another avatar, a sort of armoured munchkin, reckons that if enough people see this film, the controller of the simulation will be forced to shut it down. This could be a scientist, an alien overlord or a sadistic 12-year-old. After living through 2020, my money's on the latter.

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