The Beta Test
A secret sexual encounter triggers an existential nightmare for a Hollywood agent in this riveting social horror by Jim Cummings (Thunder Road) and PJ McCabe. Berlinale 2021.
is a pulsating combination of crime mystery, Hollywood satire, erotic thriller and fevered psycho-horror. It centres on Jordan Hines (Cummings, superb), a smarmy, image-obsessed talent agency shark. On the eve of his wedding, he receives a purple envelope inviting him to a thrilling “no-strings-attached” sexual encounter. He’s unable to resist, and so begins a snowballing series of events that catapult Hines into the toxic netherworld of LA and into the black hole of his own sociopathic existence. As his anxiety and paranoia escalate to dizzying, semi-surreal heights, the impression is that Hines would gladly sell his soul to find out who sent that purple envelope – if only he had a soul left to sell.