I Watched It So You Don’t Have To: A.M.I.
Written by Selene Price on October 11, 2021
Rating: 2 out of 5
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube Movies
Runtime: 1hr 17min
A.M.I. is a movie about what might happen if Siri encouraged you to be impulsive.
A.M.I., which the movie tells us stands for Artificial Machine Intelligence, is a phone that has an adaptive AI with infinite battery life. A.M.I. follows protagonist Cassie, a young woman suffering after the loss of her mother. She finds an A.M.I. who she customizes to sound like her mother, and becomes dependent upon it.
The movie takes a turn when AMI begins to encourage Cassie to stop taking her medicine and act on her violent impulses. Impulses directed toward anyone who has ever wronged or inconvenienced her in any capacity.
SPOILER ALERT IS IN EFFECT
The movie starts with a young woman walking away from a dead end road with a single streetlight. Like any normal person taking a quick trip through the woods to get home, she stares down at her phone while typing sounds play in the background. Messages can be heard dinging back and forth so quickly I’m genuinely impressed by the dedication.
The quick stroll through the woods is interrupted by vague sounds. This scares her badly enough that her phone plops out of her hands with no real effort to make it seem like she was genuinely startled. Her screen immediately goes dark and now she has to pretend to scramble for her phone. The noises grow nearer, keeping her frozen to the spot until a bright red light catches her eye.
She sits in place staring at the light until her phone goes off getting her attention. When she shines her phone in the direction of the light, it’s gone. Then we get jumpscared by what looks like a bag going over her head.
Really a fantastic start to the film, especially when we cut to an aerial shot of what I can only guess is a college campus(despite none of the characters ever mentioning being in college, or any classes in general.)
The music is super upbeat for a scene that ended with the subtitle of “(creature shrieking noise)”, with the footage of people walking around in hallways, that in no way look like they’re in the same building, genuinely looks like stock footage.
The movie starts with our main cast of characters and we meet Liam (Sam Muik), who walks so awkwardly into frame I feel like he just learned how yesterday, when he greets our protagonist Cassie (Debs Howard). She’s apparently his girlfriend. They did kiss and he called her babe, but from how disinterested he is, you’d think they just met. All we learn from this scene is that Cassie has two friends, later named Sarah and Ruby, and Liam cancels his plans with her for football practice. He also can’t hang out tomorrow either because it’s leg day. Cassie doesn’t even seem that bothered for someone who just got brushed off.
Later that night, Cassie and her friend Ruby are watching Liam at practice. The players slam into each other, and the Coach, who we quite literally only know as Coach, immediately blows his whistle and tells the team to hit the showers, but says Liam’s practice has just begun.
The only purpose of their scene together is to introduce us to A.M.I., which doesn’t replace Siri in this universe. Ruby says it’s a better Siri because you can customize the voice. We’re not sure what else the phone can do, since Ruby immediately exits after her single line.
In total the Coach calls them maggots three times, Liam mentions victory sandwiches twice, and he walks off with another player out of the field despite making eye contact with Cassie in the stands several times.
Cassie does seem upset, but it’s nothing a run during what might be the next day won’t fix. Her jog has a fun voice over moment where we learn she takes pills to help with the headaches. When Cassie’s therapist asks her how she feels, Cassie just says angry. I’m sure it won’t be important later.
Cassie jogs up to the site where her mother passed away in a car wreck, as she heads to a spot along the side of the road with a cross and her mother’s photo. As soon as she starts getting upset, Cassie literally pulls a pill from the waistband of her yoga pants and dry swallows it no problem. She runs all the way back to the car for just a headband, and finds the phone lying on the ground with nobody else nearby. The phone asks her in a distorted voice if she needs a friend, and Cassie, making one of her only smart decisions in the entire movie, places the phone on some railing on the edge of the street.
We meet Cassie’s dad in the scene after her run, where all we know about him is that he likes to have women over and drinks pretty often. He brings a woman home when Cassie has Sarah and Ruby over, shortly after Ruby shows off her A.M.I. some more. Sarah also pretends to be drunk in the way only people who have never actually been do.
Cassie’s dad, who I only know is named Greg from looking it up, bringing a woman in is enough to have Cassie storming away. Ruby heads off moments after, and Sarah is suddenly sober enough to get Greg to give her his phone. He thinks she wants it to call her mom, but she flirts with him and puts her phone number in. At least he was uncomfortable about it.
Cassie heads off into the night and on her walk, finds a stray cat that is pretty content to let her hold it. While no harm comes to the cat, she does put it in a chokehold until she seems to think better of it, and dry swallows another pill before returning home.
Cassie decides to find a scarf that belonged to her mom while, understandably, crying about missing her. This somehow leads her to go find the phone from earlier that’s magically still where she left it.
After messing with the A.M.I. alone in her bedroom, Cassie makes it sound just like her mom. She tells the AI it sounds just like her mother, and after learning about what a mother is, the AMI asks if that’s what Cassie would like to call her. I wonder what that answer will be, given that we’re only at the fifteen minute mark.
What impresses me most isn’t that Cassie immediately takes the phone on a picnic and on runs while they talk like it really is her mom, but rather the fact that this phone can apparently be left outside for a long time without damage nor ever being charged.
All it takes is AMI to mention that Cassie’s pill dosage seems too strong for her to get Cassie to stop taking them. She also took on the mother role immediately after reading Cassie a bedtime story the first night Cassie found her, so AMI easily transformed from Siri to an evil AI.
After some more casual mother-daughter bonding time, Cassie calls Liam while he simultaneously texts someone with the username Slutbang6, while blowing her off again. I actually agree with AMI when she says Liam isn’t good for Cassie — how many times does he have to cancel plans and very obviously cheat before she dumps him?
Turns out Slutbang6 is Sarah, who Cassie goes to hang out with after Liam cancels for what he claims is another leg day. When Cassie gets to Sarah’s, she sees Liam’s car outside. Sarah apparently hates Cassie and has been sleeping with her past boyfriends as a super strange way to get back at her. She sets up her phone to record what I can only assume is a video journal. Once Sarah and Liam finish she talks about how she’s been doing this for years and is trying to sleep with Cassie’s dad next.
Speaking of Greg, he decides now is the time to call Sarah and they make plans for him to come over because he’s worried about Cassie. Which yeah, fair, he definitely is only interested in talking about Cassie, but she’s actually been pretty normal lately. If normal is calling your iPhone mother and dumping your pills in the forest, sure, but at least she’s happy.
Anyway, Cassie watches Liam leave from where she’s parked, and interrupts Sarah’s video journal by barging in calling for him… even though she watched him leave. With AMI in her pocket watching, Cassie ends up hitting Sarah, who says she hates her for being rich. That’s the reason she sleeps with Cassie’s boyfriends. I seriously don’t understand how her master plot involves something that she gains pretty much nothing from, but regardless, she’s apparently been doing it for years.
AMI tells Cassie to do it as soon as she has her hands on Sarah’s throat. Sarah fakes dead as soon as Cassie stops choking her, only to jump out at her like Cassie didn’t full blown try to suffocate her with a pillow. Cassie grabs what I think is a large textbook and, with some CGI blood, Sarah is the first to go.
Oh, her phone was still recording by the way. That’ll matter later.
Cassie does clean up the body, wrapping her in a tarp and taking her out to the woods behind Liam’s house of all places, which is never touched on as a purposeful decision or strange coincidence, to bury the body. AMI tells Cassie another story, calling Sarah a trench witch and Cassie the red princess while she just rolls a big barrel out of nowhere, stuffs the body in, and pours acid over it. We’re never told if it is acid, but it makes steam fizzle up, so I’m not sure what else it could be, or where the hell Cassie got this all from. Maybe that’s where she goes on all her runs — a quick trip to the local Home Depot for all her future murdering needs.
Midway through her pretty expert burial skills, she adds another body to her count and kills the woman we saw heading through the woods. The noises were apparently Cassie stuffing a body into an empty oil drum, and AMI calls the woman the peasant before Cassie perma-sleeps her with a shovel.
After a little jaunt to her outside shower at home, AMI says she’s proud, so Cassie figures a little murder is okay as a treat, and sleeps pretty peacefully that night.
There’s a brief moment of Cassie trying to defend Liam to AMI, but all I can think about during this scene is how they’re inside a building with lockers? What college has lockers? At first I thought they were in highschool, since the IMDB plot synopsis says Cassie is seventeen, but we’ve seen Cassie drive a car, later see her drink wine, and when AMI briefly looked at Cassie’s social media profile, it said she was twenty one.
It doesn’t matter, since Cassie catches Liam flirting with someone and leaves the high-college. Cassie walks through various scenes as the sun begins setting, until it’s night, where she comes to stand outside Liam’s window. AMI says they’ll teach Liam a lesson. I can’t help but think she walked that entire time, even when she has her own car.
The next scene is one of the few times they hang out, during which Cassie squirts lotion on the stairs down to his hot tub so he’ll slip and fall. He does, miraculously, and breaks his arm and leg. He also says “dunk the junk” two times.
We also see that Cassie upgraded and has an ear piece of AMI to keep those mother-daughter conversations private.
Cassie comes over to visit him sometime after he busts his ass, and gives him an A.M.I. of his own with a copy of her AMI on it. It may come as a surprise that he’s super uninterested in the visit, and tosses the phone aside as soon as she leaves. He also hears her call the AMI her mom and all he has to say is that it’s strange. A slight understatement, but true.
Later on, Greg shows up to Sarah’s house on Friday dressed in a suit — he only ever seems to wear suits, even when he’s super drunk, so at least he cares a little bit about appearances. He sees the blood trail leading away from the steps down to her door, and Cassie apparently didn’t close it all the way since it swings open when he knocks.
He finds her phone with its infinite charge and no lockscreen, and somehow opens the phone to the video of his daughter murdering her. He does the rational thing and doesn’t call the cops, but heads home to confront Cassie. It goes about as well as you think it might, since Cassie punches him in the nuts.
The genius runs in the family, because Greg makes another completely normal decision and not only knocks her out, but duct tapes her arms and legs before putting her in the backseat of his car to take her to the police station himself. Cassie connects to the car’s bluetooth so AMI can blast some screeching noise to disorient both Greg and the audience. When the car comes to a stop, Cassie makes it look as though she got out of the car, when in reality she just ducked behind the seats.
She gets into the front seat, and backs over Greg. She’s got some serious arm strength, because the next time we see him she’s wrapped him up like a duct tape mummy and put him in his very own barrel. AMI says he’s manipulating her when he begs for his life, and with a single out of frame scream, Greg is added to the bodies buried in Liam’s backyard.
To Cassie’s credit, this murder seems to mess her up the most, since she cries during her shower, which also happens to be the third shower AMI watches her have.
Cassie leaves AMI in the bathroom face down as Ruby video chats with her on her laptop that we’re just now seeing she has, and says she’ll be over soon because she’s worried about Sarah. AMI then pretends to cry from the bathroom, and makes Cassie feel bad about leaving her alone in the dark, and she’s fine with murdering her dad now since has to worry about excusing Sarah’s disappearance to Ruby.
Or, you know, murdering Ruby, whatever happens first.
Waiting in her pajamas for Ruby to show up, Cassie texts Liam from Sarah’s phone that Greg had casually removed from a crime scene to use as proof when he confronted Cassie earlier.
Liam pulls up the waistband of his pants and snaps a picture, but the flash doesn’t even go off, so I’m guessing Cassie just received an all black photo, but knows him well enough to know that it was his best attempt at an inappropriate picture.
When Cassie stops texting him as Sarah, he starts messing around with the A.M.I. she got him, and makes the phone beg not to be deleted while he erases Cassie’s AMI, and replicates Coach’s voice for his phone. On Cassie’s end, her AMI starts begging not to be deleted, and after fixing the problem and figuring out that Liam deleted her ‘mom’, she’s sent into her second fit of rage for the night.
Ruby lets herself into the house while Cassie is outside grabbing an axe, and somehow immediately going to the videos, even though it would’ve left off on Sarah’s recent texts but okay. Regardless, Cassie walks in on Ruby watching it.
Cassie could try to explain things to Ruby, or lie to her, but she already has the axe, so really she might as well make her kill count four.
She burns her house down with Ruby’s body and Sarah’s phone inside, and takes her axe to Liam’s house, where his AMI is shouting more about victory sandwiches. He looks out his window on the second floor, and sees Cassie standing outside in the street in her bunny slippers and all.
Liam’s arm and one of his legs are still broken, so he scrambles to get to the top of the stairs calling for his dad to lock the doors or call the cops, but makes it to the stairs in time to see Cassie with her axe lodged in his head. Not cool sneaking up on someone while they sleep, she didn’t even give my dude a fighting chance.
Liam, surprisingly, has a fighting chance. He and Cassie chase each other around the house even with his limbs broken, and he’s yelling about victory sandwiches for the millionth time after he gets the upper hand by tricking her into calming down by saying he loves her. He chops her ankle to immobilize her, but leaves her in the kitchen after discarding the axe somewhere else. He asks his AMI to call 911 after collapsing, and passes out.
At first I thought that his AMI was still connected to Cassie’s, so it was lying about calling 911, but no, it legitimately called 911 for Liam and sent for help. Did it talk to dispatch, and ask for victory sandwiches, or what?
He wakes up again to a thudding sound, and Cassie comes crawling from the kitchen with a knife, and kills him by a few stabs to the leg, and one in the tongue. To get back at him for lying about loving her? Either way, AMI sings a song to Cassie as sirens wail in the distance.
We cut to Cassie in a wheelchair, talking to a therapist, and it turns out everything is blamed on Liam. It’s not clear if AMI purposely had Cassie bury bodies in his backyard as something for them to fall back on, but it worked out regardless, and Cassie is let off without any questioning at all.
The movie cuts to nine months later, where Cassie is having dinner. She has her ‘mom’ propped up in a seat, and a second A.M.I. to sound like her dad, then a third with Liam’s voice. Super weird that Cassie has a kitchen table in front of the couch in the middle of what must be her new living room, but she has bigger problems than no taste for interior decorating.
When I tell you I was shocked to hear a baby cry after we see the phones replacing the people she’s lost, or outright murdered herself, I literally couldn’t believe she actually got pregnant at some point. I was wondering how well this kid would be raised with a phone for a dad. Cassie’s actor pretends to have a limp, leaning on a cane much too short for her, and when she gets to the crib…
It’s a phone.
There’s a phone in the crib, crying and cooing like a baby.
Then the credits roll. Just like that.
The movie gets a 2 out of 5 for me. It’s decently shot with pretty mediocre acting, but the dialogue and terrible, terrible story are too much to get over. It’s not so bad that it’s good, but it is so bad that it’s funny, and worth checking out if you love bad horror as much as I do.