Other Halves is a new kind of dating app. Rather than asking the user to fill out a survey of their likes and dislikes, the app examines your internet history and pairs you with someone who has common interest.
Other Halves is a film about the programmers who created the eponymous app: Jasmine (Mercedes Manning), the demanding CEO; Devon (Lauren Lakis), her right-hand woman and team cheerleader; Jana (Melanie Friedrich), the best coder on the team; Beth (Megan Hui), the perky graphic designer; and Shawn, the new guy, still finding his place on the team.
On the night that the app is set to launch, everyone is a little bit stressed. This is only exacerbated by Elle (Lianna Liew), a former partner in the startup who's trying to claim credit for the dating app.
To relieve that stress, Beth's boyfriend Mike (Carson Nicely) arrives with baked goods to share. Everyone settles down for one last push towards releasing the app...
Until people start disappearing. Others black out for hours at a time, then wake up in entirely different places.
The app has a bug. The user loses all self control, sometimes becoming violent, or hyper sexual, or worse. As programmers start dropping like flies while others screw like rabbits, the question becomes: do they shut down the app? After all... evil is profitable.
Other Halves contains examples of
- Alternate Identity Amnesia: The characters don't recall what they did under the influence of the app.
- Anachronic Order: The main story is intercut with flashbacks the are played in reverse order, going back to the origins of the app.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Devon chooses this in the end.
- The Bechdel Test: Possibly the first film to feature a shower scene that passes the test.
- Buffy Speak:
Shawn: Don't worry, it's for science. You're the Marie Curie of dating apps.Beth: Didn't she die of something... science related?Shawn: Yeah, show got an acute... science infection.
- Devon, while getting a shoulder rub: "Can't 'splain now. Brain no make mouth sounds."
- More ominously, the app seems to affect Beth and Shawn's speaking ability:
- Characters Dropping Like Flies: Once they start using the app...
- Climbing Climax: When she discovers she can't escape on the ground floor, Devon has to work her way to the rooftop to get a phone signal to call for help. Jasmine is lying in wait up there.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Even after learning about the effects of the app, Jasmine still wants Other Halves to go live.
- Creator Cameo: Writer/producer Kelly Morr and writer/director Matthew T. Price both appear on screen.
- Dating Service Disaster: Perhaps a worst case scenario.
- Death by Cameo:
- Kelly Morr plays a corpse in a bathtub.
- Played with for the director's cameo; he plays a corpse in East of the Sun.
- Death by Sex: Not every character who has sex dies, but quite a few do.
- Deggans' Rule: Elle and Beth are both played by Asian actresses, which makes sense, given that the film takes place in San Francisco. More surprising is that their nations of origin are Canada and the UK, respectively.
- Disconnected by Death: Jana's text messages abruptly end.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Shawn can't seem to catch a break.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Beth and Devon ogle Mike when he removes his shirt.
- Everyone Owns a Mac: Although, Macs are commonly used by programmers, so this is Truth in Television.
- Evil Is Sexy: Nearly every character, at one point or another, under the influence of the app.
- Fan Disservice: In the opening scene, Jasmine lies naked on the floor... covered in blood.
- Female Gaze: The camera dwells on Mike's abs for quite a while.
- Final Girl: Devon is implied to be the last character to survive. Subverted in that she may not be good in the end.
- Flashback: The film is full of them.
- Friend Versus Lover: Unfortunately, Mike barely seems to even recognize Shawn as a rival for Beth's affections. Neither does Beth.
- Genius Programming: The titular app is implied to be this, in order to run on a phone.
- Genre Savvy:
Devon: You know who says 'It's just the wind?' The first girl to get stabbed by Freddy Krueger, that's who!
- Devon is frequently referring to film tropes.
- Shawn and Beth draw computer code on the window, because it's something they've seen in movies about programmers.
- Happy Flashback: After most of the characters have been killed off, we get one of these.
- Hide the Evidence: Elle moves Mike's body before anyone can find it.
- Hollywood Hacking: Partially averted. While modern phone probably don't have the processing power to run something like Other Halves, all of the technical discussions on-camera are reasonably accurate.
- Hollywood Nerd: Although Jana's social awkwardness is more than an Informed Flaw, the actress who plays her still looks like this.
- Impending Doom P.O.V.: Occurs in the Shower Scene, until Devon hears The Peeping Tom.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: A central theme throughout the film.
- Jekyll & Hyde: The result of using Other Halves.
- Just Friends: How Beth sees Shawn.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Users forget everything from the moment they start the app.
- Magical Security Cam: Averted. All of the security footage is from angles you'd expect security cameras to be at, and none of it was seen earlier in the film.
- Male Gaze: Averted. While there's plenty of Fanservice, the camera never treats the female characters the way it treats the males.
- Male Frontal Nudity: In the opening scene.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Mike is the male version.Devon: He's like the opposite of a manic pixie dream girl. A... sexy chore listen man?
- The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: The final scene.
- Mean Boss: How Jasmine fears the rest of the team views her. She's mostly right.
- Meaningful Background Event: When Devon texts Jana, she doesn't see or hear Jana's phone receive the message behind her.
- Mirror Monster: Devon's other half.
- Missing Time: This is what tips Devon off that something is wrong with the app.
- Mr. Fanservice: Mike spends most of his screen time shirtless.
- Ms. Fanservice: Devon and Jasmine, at different points.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Under the influence of the app, Shawn resolves the Love Triangle this way.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Jasmine thinks Elle is going through this, but she actually rather enjoys the effects of the app.
- No Ending: It's not clear what Devon's other half plans to do.
- Out with a Bang: Happens both on and off screen.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Several corpses are put on display, in what the filmmakers referred to as the "Dioramas of Death."
- The Peeping Tom: Shawn.
- Pop-Up Texting: The only time we see a close-up of a phone is in the faux commercial at the beginning of the film.
- P.O.V. Cam: Of the Murderer P.O.V. variety.
- The Reveal: Security footage shows Shawn who The Peeping Tom is.
- San Francisco: The film was shot in, and takes place, here.
- Sarcastic Confession: When asked why she doesn't have a boyfriend, Jasmine replies, "I kill and eat all my sexual conquests."
- Sexposition: The fundamentals of the app are explained to the audience in a Shower Scene.
- Sex Sells: See the above poster.
- Shirtless Scene: Or scenes, in Mike's case.
- Shout-Out: The title of the app and movie refer to Aristophanes' story of humans being cut in half by the gods, as told in The Symposium.
- Shower of Awkward: Averted. Jasmine and Devon are so comfortable with each other, they don't think anything of cleaning up in a communal shower together.
- Shower Scene: Devon wants to wash the sweat off from her workout, while Jasmine is surreptitiously cleaning the blood from her hands.
- Show Within a Show: A discussion of East of the Sun inspires the creation of the Other Halves app.
- Slasher Movie: Played with. Hits all the major points, from the Murderer P.O.V. to the Final Girl, with the twist being that there are several killers.
- Smarter Than You Look: Mike hopes to invoke this by quoting Plato's Symposium.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Implied with Devon's reflection in the final scene.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Elle manages to not only find the security footage of Shawn killing Mike, but has the time to edit it together in a nice presentation.
- Techno Babble: Averted. While the app doesn't exist, all of the discussions surrounding it are the sorts of things programmers would talk about.
- Troubled Backstory Flashback: We learn that Jasmine and Elle knew the effects of the app all along.
- The Unapologetic: Jasmine in the end.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Elle, after unleashing her other half.