• Black List Horror Sci-Fi 2014 Available
  • 75.6
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Market June 11, 2014
Agent Dana Harris, Meyash Prabhu, Ryan Feldman (WME)
Manager Adam Simpson-Marshall (Caliber)
A woman held captive in the futuristic smart house of a psychopathic programmer realizes that her only hope of escape lies in turning the house’s sapient computer against its creator.
In the near future, a woman's only hope for survival lies on befriending the AI that controls the house where she is being held captive by a psychopathic programmer.
After being kidnapped by a sadistic computer programmer and locked in his smart house, a young woman becomes friends with his sentient home computer system in order to escape.
A woman held against her will in the futuristic home of a psychopathic genius befriends the house's nearly sentient operating system in her attempts to escape.
Sci-fi, Thriller, Horror, Computer, Dark, Death, Escape, Female, Female Protagonist, Futuristic, Gory, High Concept, Home, Hostage, Kidnap, Killer, Mainstream (studio), Murder, Robot, Serial Killer, Survival, Suspenseful, Technology, Violence/Violent
Ultra High
F Unspecified 24 Attractive
Ex Machina, The Collection, Saw, Her, Black Mirror
Near future, about one month.
90% in a futuristic home (70% in the modern house, 25% in its grimy basement, 5% in its exterior). There are also scenes in a sleazy nightclub, a backroom, the slums and an apartment in the slums.

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At a nightclub, JULIA (20s) cons a PARTY BOY (ADULT) out of his wallet and cellphone.

A mysterious man in a coat ALEX (30s) watches her leave the club. Julia takes the loot to a QUEENPIN (50s), and the Queenpin gives her a small amount of money. Julia goes home, unsatisfied. At home, she is attacked. She wakes up wearing a muzzle in a basement in an electric cage with two other girls, KAREN (ADULT) and SARAH (ADULT). When the owner of the house comes down, clad in a leather mask, Karen grovels at his feet. He pulls her out. The next day it's Sarah's turn to go up with the man. The sounds of her screaming reach the basement. On day 3, it's Julia's turn, and he feeds her after presumably raping her. When she asks why he took her, he says because she wanted to be taken. On day 6, Julia steals a pair of pliers and forces Karen to help her break their binds and muzzles. Reluctantly, she complies. Julia escapes using makeshift insulated gloves by causing an explosion. The three girls run up into the beautiful futuristic home.

They make their way to the kitchen, but the appliances...
Reader 1 Comments
OVERALL (Recommend)
In this science fiction thriller, a woman is kidnapped and trapped in a fortified house controlled by an AI. She must befriend the AI and convince it to help her before her kidnapper finishes constructing an impenetrable cell in his basement from which she has no hope of escaping. It is a captivating premise with well developed characters, a believable futuristic world, an appropriately scary and suspenseful tone, successful use of the three act structure and good writing abilities. The conflict and pacing could be improved if the obstacles did not remain so static and uniform throughout. The premise is also not completely original since there are other films about escaping captivity and about befriending an AI, like "Ex Machina". The dialogue could also be improved by removing expository lines....
Reader 2 Comments
“TAU,” a futuristic thriller about a young woman who, after being kidnapped by a sadistic computer programmer and locked in his smart house, becomes friends with his sentient A.I. home computer system in order to escape is a fresh, exciting take on the genre. It unfolds in interesting and unexpected ways, particularly because of its friendship between its protagonist and the smart home computer system, which is suprisingly poignant and well-rewarding. It builds external conflict exceptionally, too, marking each of its beat with precise urgency until its explosive climax. It could, however, use some character work, as its protagonist's backstory feels a bit indiscernible. This consequently makes her internal conflict feel rather subdued as well, and would overall strengthen “TAU” immensely with some development....
Reader 3 Comments
"Tau" is the attempt to merge horror with sci-fi, and for the most part it succeeds. Julia, a scrappy woman from the slums, is abducted by genius psychopath Alex and brought to his torture chamber underneath his futuristic home. She befriends TAU, the operating system that takes care of the house chores and controls the house as per Alex's wishes, and tries to get it to help her escape. Its premise has a lot of potential, but it is limited by its weak characterization and lack of internal conflict. Alex would be an intriguing and disturbing villain if there was more backstory or more time spent on him at all. Supposedly, Julia's weakness/ internal conflict is that she's selfish because she sacrifices the other two victims in order to save her own skin. However, there isn't much to show that she changes. Dialogue is on-the-nose. Structure is solid though, following a three act structure almost perfectly....