The Experience, on Prime Video, is not a great film. But it’s an interesting film. It’s a science fiction lesbian love story set in a wilderness camp for troubled teens.
The Experience begins with Scarlet (Allison Kove) running through a hilly, wooded area. Her image slips and slides a bit, like a video game buffering or virtual reality loading too slowly. This opening scene explains a lot, but it’s easy to forget it as you get involved in the story of Scarlet’s life.
Scarlet was drinking, skipping school, wearing goth clothing, and not accepting her father Peter Evans’ (Shawn Christian) new girlfriend. In a desperate move, Peter put her in the wilderness camp.
She made no progress at all with the wilderness experience and the counseling provided by the two adults in charge, Richard (Ravi Naidu) and Russell (Cameron Jebo).
Then Dylan (Ava Capri) joined the group. Scarlet and Dylan hit it off almost immediately. They grew closer and closer in a sweetly innocent love story that developed slowly.
Scarlet opened up to Dylan about her mother’s death, about which she had frequent nightmares. We learn her story, and she heals in the sharing of it and the acceptance from Dylan.
Parallel to Scarlet’s story, Peter is involved in a cover up of an environmental disaster involving an oil company. We see his side of his marriage to Scarlet’s mother and her death.
It’s all tied together in the film’s 3rd act, and we are reminded why this is a science fiction story. This is when we understand the mysterious presence of Ezilda (Brigitte Nielsen) in the story.
The Experience was written and directed by Katerina Gorshkov. It’s Gorshkov’s first feature film. She didn’t hit it out of the park with this one, but she has an approach that makes me want to see more of what she does.
This film is in the vein of Mnemophrenia, OtherLife, or some of the tales in Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. It has the added heartfelt central glue of the improbable connection between Scarlet and Dylan.
Check out the trailer.
If you give this film a try, I’d love to hear what you think of it.