The 7th Dimension

Sarah (Kelly Adams) and Zoe (Lucy Evans) are students, but Zoe has decided to give up college. She’s in love with one of her tutors, Malcolm (David Horton), and would sooner concentrate on him than on her studies. Sarah disagrees that this is the right decision, but agrees to accompany Zoe to Malcolm’s flat, where Zoe plans to declare her undying devotion. Malcolm apparently shares a penthouse apartment in a tower block with two others, Declan (Jonathan Rhodes), and Kendra (Calita Rainford). And a lot of sophisticated computer hardware. This is used to run an Internet radio station, on which Declan rages foul-mouthedly against the various iniquities of modern existence. However, it soon transpires that Jonathan, Kendra, and Malcolm are also using the computers to hack into various systems around the world.

Their main target is the Vatican’s computer system. Because they want data on the original Torah – allegedly lost but, they believe, held secretly and securely somewhere in Vatican City. They need images of the original Torah so they can build a three-dimensional matrix of it, and so search in all three dimensions for hidden Bible code messages. Declan is convinced secret knowledge allowing control over existence can be found in the Torah, that God encoded in it the secret of powers which would make the discoverer a god. But there are those who want to prevent the trio, especially a pair of remote viewers from, perhaps, the CIA, who make a number of ghostly appearances in the flat…

Bible code is complete and utter nonsense, of course. Everyone who has ever looked for secret information in the Bible has generally found exactly what they were looking for. It doesn’t have to be true to provide the conceit for a film, however. This is, after all, fiction, and it’s the entertainment value which is paramount. But Brad Watson, director of The 7th Dimension, was not content with merely the hunt for secret knowledge in the Torah, and its subsequent discovery. He wanted more, more secret powers, more ways of hiding it in biblical Hebrew, more dimensions… Seven, in fact… The result is a mishmash of science fiction, implausible occult nuttiness, and supernatural horror. It works in parts, but the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

The 7th Dimension is clearly a film made by someone young. It rails against the world. Declan rants against any number of things, not all of which actually qualify as injustices. The central conceit is plausible enough for a supernatural thriller, but The 7th Dimension tries to complicate it by adding dimensions to it – literally: not just length and breadth and height, but time, and then more.

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Much like a three-dimensional person in Edwin Abbot’s Flatland – which, Declan asserts, is the source of godlike powers. The fact that the Vatican has a super-secure computer system is also somewhat implausible, not to mention that three young Brits could both possess millions of pounds worth of computer hardware in a penthouse flat and be supremely gifted hackers…

When the trio do manage to hack into the Vatican’s computer, security shutters seal the doors to the flat. This is meant to delay any attempt to stop them. And when the flat is locked down, the film successfully manages a claustrophobic air. A number of scenes on the apartment’s balcony also evoke vertigo. But as the climax approaches, Watson piles on increasingly farfetched story elements on top of each other, and the plot begins to collapse under the weight of them.

The cast play their parts well. Rhodes is suitably apoplectic and un-likeable as ranter Declan, and Adams plays a strong female everywoman. Evans is initially a bit of a doormat but proves her worth later. Horton is a bit of a blank, but Rainford is very much in everyone’s face from the moment she is introduced. The production values are surprisingly high.

The 7th Dimension is entertaining. It’s the sort of film you watch with a couple of beers inside you. But don’t think too hard about it, or you might suffer the same fate as the characters in the film.