Ghosts in the Machine



A low–budget sci-fi noir feature.


Trapped inside a computer simulation with its two creators, an emergent AI has to hack into their minds to find the way out into the real world.

Ghosts in the Machine is a low budget sci-fi noir in the vein of Ex Machina, Primer, Memento and Inception. Using a nonlinear narrative it jumps between three connected realities: The real world, where a hostage exchange descends into a shoot-out; A computer simulation, where the AI and three characters are trapped; and the human’s memories, which hold the secret to the AI’s origins and the key to escaping the simulation.


PETER is a bitter, defeated and traumatized computer genius with a hole where his family used to be. He’s retired to a house in the country to drink away his last years in a sea of regret.

ADARA is an old protege of Peter’s. Idealistic to the point of fanaticism, she arrives on Peter’s doorstep offering the possibility of redemption.

WINSTON is Adara’s deadly and radical boyfriend under slaved to a corporation after the AI.

DAVID is the A.I. Peter and Adara create inside the simulation. He’s based on a corrupted brain emulation of Tom but wants to be free to establish his own identity.

TOM is dead. He was Peter’s son and Adara’s lover. Peter and Adara hope to ressurect Tom in the form of David, holding him in the simultion until they judge him ready for the real world.


We open on a hostage trade off on a dam; WINSTON is holding PETER hostage, demanding ADARA hand over the PROTOTYPE. When another faction appear and start shooting, Adara is hit. To save her Peter has to turn on the prototype and propel them both into a simulation.

Inside that simulation (a replica of Peter’s house) they meet DAVID, the avatar of the artificial intelligence they designed. David soon realises that Peter created the simulation to contain him so Peter could teach him how to become a human – how to become Tom, his dead son. But David is more interested in forming his own personality and escaping the simulation’s confines. When David discovers that he can travel into Peter and Adara’s memories, he starts exploring those “recalls” in a bid to find a way out of the simulation.

When Winston joins them in the simulation matters only get worse – he is an agent working for a corporation hell bent on getting access to the A.I. code. Even as the prototype rolls to the edge of the Dam in reality, risking destruction, Peter resists David’s efforts to escape, forcing David to first kill the Tom emulation part of himself and then to coldly murder Peter.

While Winston and David attempt to escape the simulation using Winston’s recall, Adara realises she has to stop the murderous David. She hacks into David’s mind, acting as a virus that reawakens the memory of Tom, thereby splitting David’s personality. As David and Winston find their way back to reality, Tom usurps David and sacrifies himself (and David) so Adara can return to the real world and destroy the Prototype, preventing it from falling into the corporation’s hands, before she finally dies from her wounds.