Bobbi Johnson (Hannah Arterton) is a writer, her debut novel lit a fire under the youth of the country and she’s become a beacon of hope, change and revolution in an increasingly disillusioned world.
Her publisher, Jordan (Belinda Stewart-Wilson) is eager for Bobbi to get her started on her next novel, but Bobbi isn’t sure what to write next. She only knows that she wants her next book to be written with her voice and for it to say something that will be as influential as her first novel.
Bobbi still writes on an old typewriter, she’s the kind of writer that believes that to find an authentic voice then she has to write in the same way that many have written before her. However, Jordan disagrees and after Bobbi realises that she has to do something to pay the bills, she reluctantly agrees to let Jordan send her the latest hi-tech editing software that will help her compose her next masterpiece.
The trouble is that not only does Bobbi have to contend with a computer that’s intent on rewriting her work, but her junkie ex-boyfriend, Dylan (Elliot James Langridge) comes back into her life and she’s concerned that she may have a stalker.
Peripheral is a surreal horror film directed by Paul Hyett and written by Dan Schaffer. Taking presumably a lot of influence from David Cronenberg, Peripheral is a horror that not only boasts bizarre imagery, but also has some not so subtle subtext running throughout and has moments of body horror that are impressively executed. Schaffer’s script not only talks about many of the aspects that consume a writer’s mind, but also deals with Bobbi’s own drug addiction and the things she does to keep her clean.
As Bobbi starts to use the software to help her write, she finds herself getting lost, not only in the words she writes, but also in quite literal ways as she finds her body changing in ways that she wasn’t expecting. It’s up to the audience to decide whether the changes are all in her mind, a manifestation of her state of mind or perhaps something altogether more sinister and real.
Peripheral is a multi-faceted story that will satisfy fans of the body horror subgenre, but also many writers may find themselves identifying with the existential crisis that Bobbi finds herself in that may be driving her mad.
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