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Distorted is a 2018 Canadian thriller film starring Christina Ricci and John Cusack.


Russell Curran (Brendan Fletcher) is a successful businessman living in Portland, Oregon. His 32-year-old wife Lauren (Christina Ricci) suffers from bipolar disorder after a home invasion left her injured and her baby drowned in the bathtub.

Craving for a safe home, Russell and Lauren decide to move into a luxurious high-tech smart apartment an hour away from Portland. On one of their first evenings, they attend a cocktail party and meet the other residents who are all very wealthy. One of them is Phillip Starks (Vicellous Reon Shannon), an heir of a successful marketing company focussing on consumer-psychology.

Lauren soon notices strange noises coming from the apartment s sound system and occasionally sees the TV flashing up strange pictures and words. She tries to speak to Russell, but he blames her bipolar disorder and accuses her of paranoia. Later, Russell secretly installs CCTV cameras to observe Lauren s behavior.

Through research on the internet, Lauren gets in touch with Vernon Sarsfield (John Cusack), a hacker and journalist. Vernon affirms Lauren that she is not paranoid and that she needs to help him to prove that the residents of her home are being used as involuntary experimental subjects to subliminal stimuli by the building s owners. Vernon believes Lauren is the only one to notice the subliminal messaging because of her bipolar disorder.

One day, Lauren meets a resident that she has been perceiving as particularly awkward. He tells Lauren that he is not one of them and soon after commits suicide by jumping off the buildings roof. As the strange events intensify, Vernon advises Lauren to leave since he has been tracked and thus can not help her anymore.

Lauren becomes increasingly suspicious of Russell who threatens to send her to a psychiatric hospital. As Lauren figures that all residents have continuously been scratching their necks, thus must have been exposed to some substance or implant, she tries to flee, but the buildings security manager and groundskeeper apprehend her in the garage and forcefully narcotize her by an injection to the neck.

As Lauren wakes up, she is restrained and exposed to another subliminal stimuli on the TV, realizing that the goal of the stimuli is for her to murder a three-year-old child residing in another apartment. Vernon suddenly appears and frees Lauren. He gives her a gun and allows her to flee by holding up the pursuers, but gets killed as he does so.

Lauren does as the stimuli suggested by kidnapping the child. Russell tries to win back her trust by saying he has proof of the subliminal stimuli through the CCTV he has installed, but Lauren rebuffs him. Using the images implanted into her head earlier, she drives the child to an abandoned shack. Later, she is then seen driving to an abandoned luxurious hotel with a blood-stained bag where she is greeted by Phillip Stark, and the building s employees and some of its residents who were disguised employees of Stark. Stark interviews Lauren on how she feels about having killed the child. As Lauren replies that she feels well since she does as expected from her, Stark is satisfied and thanks Lauren for her contribution to the future of warfare.

However, as Stark opens the bag, it is only filled with apples. A flashback reveals that Lauren and Russell had only faked the child s death. Stark attacks Lauren, but Russell rushes to her aid and shoots him dead. The police arrive and surround the premises.

In the closing scene, a pregnant Lauren and Russell have moved into a new home. As they hug, Lauren suspiciously eyes the parent unit Russell had been trying to install.


  • Christina Ricci as Lauren Curran
  • John Cusack as Vernon Sarsfield
  • Brendan Fletcher as Russell Curran
  • Vicellous Reon Shannon as Phillip Starks
  • Nicole Anthony as Margo Ingram
  • Oliver Rice as Lance Geyer


Production for the film started in Kelowna and Vernon, British Columbia in May 2017. The film is produced by Kevin DeWalt, CEO of Minds Eye Entertainment.


Minds Eye Entertainment co-produced and released the film in North America territories, while Voltage Pictures handled international rights for the film.


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 18% based on 11 reviews with an average rating of 4.2/10.

Year 2018
ReleaseDate 2018-06-22
RuntimeMins 86
RuntimeStr 1h 26min
Plot A couple moves to an isolated, modern, safe apartment building with CCTV after the wife has problems with nightmares. However, something’s not quite right with the building.
Directors Rob W. King
Writers Arne Olsen
Stars Christina Ricci, Brendan Fletcher, Vicellous Shannon
Produced by Darren Benning,Jason Brooks,Nicolas Chartier,Benjamin DeWalt,Kevin DeWalt,Guy Griffithe,Andrew Holmes,Danielle Masters,Mark Montague,Allison Taylor
Music by Todd Bryanton
Cinematography by Mark Dobrescu
Film Editing by Jackie Dzuba
Casting By Deb Green
Production Design by Kathy McCoy
Set Decoration by Adrian Traquair
Costume Design by Colleen Bryant
Makeup Department Denise Barnes,Dylan Raine
Production Management Mark Montague
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Trevor Cunningham,Nikki Elek,Jesse Nelson,Grant O’Kane
Art Department Shaun Cadenne,Jim Cliffe,Sarah Closson,Madison DeWalt,Anne Henderson,Joe Hinks,Tracey Hway,Zach Jones,Sheri Joy,Colin Judd,Mark A. Judd,Jon Mongul,Ryan Steacy,Kim Wall,John Wells
Sound Department Rob Bryanton,Evan Ferguson,Steve Hasiak,Emma Kramer-Rodger,Jason Wood
Special Effects by Vance Irvine,Gary Minielly
Visual Effects by Tomas Ibar,Milton Muller,Caitlin Stasuk,Dylan Yastremski
Stunts Bill Ferguson
Camera and Electrical Department Sam Acton King,Cory Baker,Cole Brewer,Alan Certeza,Curtis Chornoluck,Nic Collar,Jake Cummins,Chris Duerkopp,Dean Frank,Terry Girahm,Sean Grogan,Rob Hamilton,James Kantola,Sean Kilgus,Ken Krawczyk,Max Leonovich,John Magill,Shawn Montgomery,Steele Murcdoch,Jeff Myers,Jordan Powers,Craig Pulsifer,Bo Rouck,Sheyanne Sundahl,Kelly Veltri,Billy Walker
Casting Department Destee Klyne,Adina Willmott
Costume and Wardrobe Department Kim Callaghan,Sue Gairns,Chrissy Ito,Katherine Mercer
Editorial Department Jack Tunnicliffe,Jason Woodford
Location Management Arwin Badilles,Rob Bricker,Robert B. Bricker,Basil Fafard,Jason Grundke,Sean Jmaeff,Tyler Rowe,Kiefer Schneider,Jacob Wideman
Music Department Brian Jackson Harris,Matt Jantzen,John Kurlander,Martin Roller,Michael Wickstrom
Script and Continuity Department Marion Milner
Transportation Department Kelly-Rae Buchan,Rick Buchan,Gerard Demaer,Kevin Fyhn,Michael Leinweber,Michael Ryan Leinweber,Clancy Maguire,Steve Mifsud,Marvin Walker
Additional Crew Mackenzie Acton,Sheena Babic,Suzanne Bourlon,Travis Cloyd,Dale Cornick,Josh Courtney,Paul Cousins,Nina Crone,Nigel Crook,Kohbi Flor,Claude Forest,Sheila Jayson,Gideon C. Kennedy,Mackenzie Kowalchuk,Mette Bang Kristensen,Jennifer Lamont,Lori Maxwell,Robyn Phillips,Annie Storey,Evelyn Travis,Jack Wakefield,Lori Welbourne
Genres Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Companies Bridgegate Pictures, Minds Eye Entertainment, Movie Trailer House
Countries Canada
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 4.6
ImDbRatingVotes 8955
Keywords anxiety,waking up from a nightmare,disturbing images during opening credits,sketch,living in fear