In the new young adult sci-fi adventure movie Max Winslow and the House of Secrets, five teenagers are chosen by eccentric billionaire Atticus Virtue (Chad Michael Murray) to spend the night in his mansion, which is run by a special AI-interface, he’s called H.A.V.E.N. (voiced by Marina Sirtis).
The titular character, Max Winslow (Sydne Mikelle), is a computer hacker and one of the five chosen. The other four chosen are Connor (Tanner Buchanan), a jock who has other ambitions; Sophia (Jade Chynoweth), a social media-obsessed popular girl; Benny (Jason Genao), a hardcore gamer with a sweet tooth; and Aiden (Emery Kelly), the disenfranchised loner.
After arriving for the night, the teens are informed by H.A.V.E.N. that they will be competing in challenges to accrue points. The winner will get ownership of the house, according to a hologram version of Atticus Virtue.
As the competitions get harder, the film takes on a horror-tinged escape room feel. Eventually each teen finds themselves separated from the rest and forced to face some real fears.
For adults, Max Winslow and the House of Secrets evokes memories of movies from our past. Think Breakfast Club meets Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with a touch of V.I.K.I. from I, Robot.
The movie does get a little dark in places, but there is no blood or gore. It’s all psychological, with the exception of some video game monsters.
There is a message in the film, delivered a little overhandedly, but it’s wrapped up in a decent story, good acting, and well-done special effects.
I would’ve liked to have had more character development, so some of them didn’t seem so flat. Plus, the ending felt like it was wrapped up a little too neat (I would’ve been way more upset with Atticus had I been in Max’s shoes). Don’t stop the film when the credits start, though, or you’ll miss a short update on the characters.
Overall I liked Max Winslow and the House of Secrets, and think it’ll be a good movie for teens and pre-teens to watch. It could even fit in with some upcoming family-friendly Halloween viewing.
Released on August 25th, 2020, Max Winslow and the House of Secrets is available to stream at Amazon (affiliate link), as well as available on Blue-Ray/DVD, and in select theaters.
MAX WINSLOW AND THE HOUSE OF SECRETS
Director: Sean Olson
Cast: Chad Michael Murray, Marina Sirtis, Sydne Mikelle, Tanner Buchanan, Jade Chynoweth, Jason Genao, Emery Kelly
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