The Dark Sci-Fi Modern Drama With A Genre Legend Is The Best AI Thriller For Adults In Years

By TeeJay Small | Published

the artifice girl

Stories about the dangers of artificial intelligence date back much farther than the existence of ChatGPT or the Dall-E mini, though they’re expected to become much more of a hot button issue now that the generative service is a part of our everyday life. One film, 2022’s The Artifice Girl, serves as the best modern look at AI in a long time, and features a number of intense twists and turns along the way. The film features Aliens‘ Lance Henriksen, and is available to stream for free today.

The Cast And Crew

the artifice girl

The Artifice Girl was written and directed by independent filmmaker Franklin Ritch, and initially released straight to video on demand after seeing a successful premiere at the Fantasia International Film Fest. Ritch, who also appears as the lead in the film, took home a gold audience award for The Artifice Girl, in the category of best international feature. The main cast is rounded out by a number of underrated performers, including Tatum Matthews, Sinda Nichols, David Girard, Ivana Barnes, and Alyssa Moody.

The Disturbing Inspiration

Franklin Ritch has explained in interviews over the years that his initial inspiration for The Artifice Girl arose when he learned that law enforcement agencies had been utilizing artificial intelligence in a number of applications. In a way, the AI models have been likened to the psychic oracle used to predict crimes before they happen in Minority Report. In The Artifice Girl, the crimes are of a disturbing sexual nature, making the film unsuitable for the faint of heart.


the artifice girl

The Artifice Girl centers on Gareth, a young computer genius who constructs a virtual AI model of a child, in order to lure pedophiles into outing themselves in online chat rooms. After Gareth spends some time perfecting the AI, and serving as a web vigilante, the bot convinces special agents to get involved, through a roundabout scheme. Cherry, the AI bot, rapidly becomes so advanced that she looks and acts as if she has a mind of her own, despite appearing to be a small child.

Cherry Keeps Growing

After investigators learn that Cherry has the ability to create stunning art and poetry, she is placed in the body of a child android, and operated as a hive mind on the net to lure creeps of all locales to law enforcement. Skipping forward many years into the future, Cherry eventually learns that she has been modeled after an old classmate of Gareth’s from his childhood, who held dreams of becoming an agent before her untimely passing. As The Artifice Girl builds to a thrilling climax, Cherry’s advanced AI becomes so powerful that she seems more human than the real people around her, prompting her to make big decisions about her future.

Stream It Now

The film was well liked upon release, and instantly became something of a cult classic, garnering a 91 percent critic score on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Those interested in streaming the fascinating film can check out The Artifice Girl for free on Tubi right now. Just be sure to clear your browser history beforehand, as you wouldn’t want ChatGPT getting any crazy ideas about its own autonomous destiny.