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A New Sci-Fi Short Film Explores the Scarier Side of Mind Reading

Nelson interacts with the Strip.
Nelson interacts with the Strip.
Image: Maxwell Addae

Having the ability to read minds might sound tempting, but everything comes with a price. Strip, a new sci-fi short film from Maxwell Addae, explores what could happen if learning how to read minds meant uncovering something terrible in your past...or someone else entirely.


Strip stars Leighton Allen as Nelson, a neural engineer who’s working on a groundbreaking piece of technology called the Strip, which attaches to the spine and allows people to read the thoughts of those around them. Visually they reminded me of the “stacks” from Altered Carbon, combined with the plot line of the Limetown podcast.


Nelson and his partner are trying to secure funding to continue work on their experiment. In a last-ditch effort to save their project, he chooses to try the Strip on himself against the advice of those close to him. Nelson starts having flashes of a crime he may have committed. But the truth behind his dreams is a lot bigger, and scarier, than he could have imagined.

Strip does have some issues—mainly in the pacing, which tends to be pretty slow—but it’s an interesting concept, and I enjoyed seeing mind reading and digital integration explored in a unique way. Definitely something worth checking out.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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On the other hand, none of that made any sense whatsoever and was an utter waste of half an hour.