The subject of time travel and quantum mechanics is an interesting topic for sci-fi filmmakers to munch on, and Larry Wade Carrell’s 2023 film, The Quantum Devil, is no exception. It’s a sly wink at the fact that not every quest for knowledge yields Nobel-worthy results. Sometimes, it lands you in a parallel universe where the extraordinary is the new ordinary, and danger lurks around every corner. Meet our fearless foursome: Matthews, Luke, Ivanna, and Sophie, who’re on a wild goose chase to solve a riddle that’s more mind-boggling than a Picasso painting. As they go down the rabbit hole, they come across a dimension where the rules of life and death don’t matter, old secrets pop up, and who knows what else!
Plot Synopsis: What Happens in the Film?
The Quantum Devil begins with Luke Matthews (Tyler Tackett) stepping inside a taxi and passing a note to the driver, asking him to take him to the location scribbled on the piece of paper. The driver agrees but warns Luke to leave his car immediately once they reach the location. Luke arrives at the place and finds it luminated with candles rather than artificial lighting. He also encounters a strange-looking man named Mehmet Cerrahoglu, who leads him to a door located at the end of a wide hallway. Inside the room, Luke meets Ivanna (Ariadna Cabrol). Like Luke, Ivanna has also received an ominous letter containing a one-way flight ticket. The letter also contained some kind of quantum equation that’s too good to ignore. Sophie (Tamara Radovanovic) is also one of the guests and practices a different profession than the other two. She’s an empath, some kind of psychic, who is able to feel other people’s emotions. As the night progresses, Luke also shakes hands with Brad (Edward Apeagyei), a young man who has made his name in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. Brad is a socially awkward man who smokes cannabis to control his social anxiety. They are all here to investigate something, to solve a riddle that can change life as they know it, but what is it?
Who Is Richard Cernovich? What Does He Want?
At the dinner, Klaatu introduces the guests to their host, Dr. Richard Cernovich (Neil Dickson). For many, Richard is a genius, a pioneer in the fields of neuropsychiatry, theoretical physics, and quantum biology. Richard used to be one of the most respected scientists until he was ousted from academia and cast out of the United States for carrying out experiments and tests that killed many people in 1973. His experiments included mind control, Mk Ultra, Project Parrot, Project Doll, and whatnot. However, Cernovich states that his expulsion was politically motivated, as he was making great strides in the world of science.
We also learn that all of Richard’s guests are disgraced and wanted by cops and the authorities. For instance, Brad is on the most wanted list after his lab-grown cannabis caused the deaths of 250 students. Ivanna is running from the authorities after killing her university’s dean and her fellow physicists. As for Sophie, she used to attend medical school but had to leave the country after murdering her fellow student, Hank Jones, in cold blood. They say the blood is still seeping through the cracks in the floor where Hank was killed.
But what about Matthews? He, too, has a sordid history. He accidentally choked his fiancé to death while having a hard-core, intimate encounter. Richard explains his reason for inviting all of them here. He wants them to breach the quantum barrier and pass into another world. He also unveils quanta-mine, a shiny substance caged in a cylindrical box, which Richard claims he obtained from a non-human source. Richard asks them to put their brains to work, breach the quantum barrier, and make history. Richard then takes the group to the quantum chamber, where he lost the use of his legs and his dear old colleague, Dr. Wallce Keith. Richard also offers them $500K each if they’re successful.
Richard also has a secret lab built under his house. This is where he goes after lying to the group that he’s flying to Geneva and will return in a couple days. We see Richard getting into some kind of cylindrical tank filled with what appears to be quanta-mine, wearing a special suit to cross into the quantum realm.
Was The Group Successful In Breaking The Barrier?
Quanta-mine is an exceptional substance that can help people travel between dimensions. Unfortunately, the problem is that it literally eats flesh. Brad argues that the quanta-mine isn’t eating flesh but transporting the body into a different dimension. He further suggests that every single person in the room is supposed to play a role. Brad will change the state of the quanta-mine from liquid to gas, which he will later dilute with a special solution to allow the body ample time to achieve superposition. Afterward, Matthews will set the tuning forks to generate a frequency of 432 Hz, which would synchronize the proton within the chamber with the atomization of quanta-mine gas.
Later, Sophie will use Richard’s special headgear, which will heighten her psychic talents and link their consciousness together. The group put their plan in motion and, after a while, strapped themselves with the headgear to link their consciousness to one another. After a while, we notice them waking inside their respective rooms, with no memories of their trip to the different dimension. They return to the lab to check the footage, only to find that the footage has been wiped clean and the quanta-mine missing.
Moreover, Matthew also struggles to find Wallace’s notebooks, which he claims to have seen before, trying to link their consciousness. Sophie sees herself on the computer screen, which appears to be a version of her from a different dimension. For a second, she also notices a giant octopus’ tentacles and Matthews and Ivanna having sex. However, what they all seem to miss is that they all have a strange opening on their back after waking up from their trip.
What Happens To Brad, Sophie, Matthews, And Ivanna?
Things get interesting from here. We see a naked woman following Matthew in the hallway, who appears to be his dead girlfriend. Meanwhile, Sophie keeps sensing a dark presence following their mind trip. While she is showering, her evil twin sister, Katia, suddenly appears in the mirror and attacks her. Katia calls Sophie a murderer, chokes her to death, and eventually fuses with her body. Next, the mirror somehow repairs itself and traps Sophie’s soul inside it. Brad also follows a mysterious woman, who leads her to a nightclub. Therein, he starts having visions of all the people who died after consuming his cannabis. Things take a dark turn when the same crowd attacks Brad and rips the skin off his body while he screams in pure agony, killing him. Matthews also abruptly wakes up from his sleep and finds his dead girlfriend trying to have sex with him. Matthews pushes her away, claiming she’s dead, but the latter informs him that they’re in a different dimension where she still lives. This means that the experiment was successful, and the group has managed to breach into the other world. Matthews and Ivanna try to escape but are stopped by a creature with giant tentacles. Richard reveals himself, and surprisingly, in this dimension, he’s not crippled and can walk. Matthews tries to find the quantum lab but ends up returning to the same place over and over again.
Richard reveals that he’s a slave to his master, one who feeds on people’s sins. Once Luke and Ivanna are dead, the master of this world will consume their souls. This is why Richard invited them to serve his master. The strange wound on their backs could be a way for Richard’s master to feed on them. The only way to escape this world is to kill Richard. Matthews challenges Richard to a duel, and with a snap, Richard transports Matthews to a different place. The hosts of the challenge offer both of them guns and advise them to take ten steps back. Unfortunately, Matthews’s gun malfunctions, leading him to lose the challenge. Richard, on the other hand, doesn’t miss and kills Matthews. Suddenly, a giant alien creature with tentacles named Brada appears and crushes Richard. However, Richard has now figured out how the quantum world works and forces Brada to honor their agreement. In reality, the quantum world works in mysterious ways. It’s a place where people are as strong as their convictions. This is how Richard was able to defeat Brada and Matthews.
Brada complies, and Richard wakes up in the real world. He walks out of the building and answers his son’s call. From the call, we learn that the father-son duo has been carrying out the same tests in different parts of the country, some of which failed while others showed considerable results. The Quantum Devil ends with the souls of all four scientists looking through the window, suggesting that they’re forever trapped in the quantum world, as Brada’s meal. It’s clear that Richard had already found a way to jump between dimensions and had just called the four scientists to feed Brada in return for safe passage in and out of the quantum world. Brada was also the one who provided him with quanta-mine.
Is The Quantum Devil a good movie? Unfortunately, it falls short in many ways. Should you consider watching it? Well, that depends on how much free time you have to spare. The film is the second installment in the Quantum Quartet, a series of four science fiction films exploring the complex world of quantum physics. Regrettably, as a sci-fi movie, The Quantum Devil misses the mark on several important elements that typically make a sci-fi film digestible. It dedicates a lot of time to digging into its characters’ backgrounds to the extent that it completely forgets about the Vilgax-looking antagonist with motives. While the concept of quantum mechanics is undeniably fascinating, the film, unfortunately, fails to do justice to it. It feels like the movie throws complex terms and terminology just for the sake of sounding smart, nothing more, nothing else.