First, this movie is not Surrogates.

Second, I will summarize the entire plot of the movie, so spoiler alert.

I believe the movie is more recent, and centers on a young man/teen living in world where humans live alone in above ground bunker-like homes that consist of some shelves and a computerized chair and a giant screen.

The chair reclines flat at sleep time and also contains tubes for feeding the resident. Nobody speaks, they only interact through typing. They work, game, shop and live online. The boy's computerized chair fails and he is forced to venture outside.

He discovers a family living in the woods 'off the grid' one of whom he had previously seen on his screen while working his remote quarry job.

Eventually the family takes him in and teaches him to speak (there's a funny moment where he's trying to answer their questions by typing on his defunct keyboard attached to his clothes) and he falls for a girl his age.

The family routinely venture out into the world but must avoid being discovered by the seemingly omnipresent government who employs drones to discover and capture people who have dropped off the grid. The family is almost captured and the boy decides to leave because he thinks the drones are after him.

He eventually realizes the drones will not hurt him and attempts to save his mother from her pod. She won't leave and he returns to the girl.

It was a live action movie quite recently released. I saw it on one of the premium cable movie channels in my country (Canada) within the last 3 months. The movie was mid-budget, as the scenes set in the online world were pretty well done, and the set of the house in the woods where the family lived was well done. There is an action scene where they are discovered by a drone that tries to kill them that didn't seem too cheesy to me. American film, but no actors I recognized. Main character is white, 20-25, dark hair. The love interest is white, blond, the same age.

A memorable moment is the main character working remotely in a quarry, I think driving a dump truck. He sees a dog off in the trees and starts to pan his camera to find it. His boss sends him instant messages telling him to get back to work and that he can easily be replaced. He begs the manager to keep him and stops looking for the dog. At the end of the movie, one of the drone remote pilots decides not to attack the star and starts to get the same messages from her boss, which she ignores. We then realize that the control the government has is just illusory.

Some new things I remembered: when the protagonist is living with the family, one of the younger daughters is very mistrustful of the protagonist and wants him to leave because she thinks he will bring the drones. She is aggressive at every turn.

Also, and this is more hazy, but I believe that the reason people are in the pods is because they believe the air is poisoned and if you breathe the air you turn violent or monstrous. The bunkers also protect people from those monsters. I think the people that turn violent/monstrous have a particular name, like the wanderers or something like that and this might be the name of the movie. When the love interest is schooling the protagonist, she tells him that his idea of the monsters is wrong, though he still clings to it, and that if he's right then he himself is one of the monsters.

  • Don't think this is it, but have to ask -- could it be The Zero Theorem?
    – Tim S.
    Jun 20, 2017 at 20:22
  • Hi, Do you remember any city or locations shown in the movie?
    – pal4life
    Jul 5, 2017 at 8:56
  • Thanks for your comments Tim S. and pal4life. The Zero Theorem is unfortunately not the movie. And there are no identified cities or locations in the movie, since it all takes place either in the protagonist's bunker, the forest where the family lives or at the end, in the bunker of the person controlling the drone looking for the protagonist. I added a couple of new things I remembered about the movie above.
    – JimyT
    Jul 6, 2017 at 15:35
  • I instantly think of Sleep Dealer 2008 when you mention working remotely / virtual labor. But sadly I don't think it's a match. Sounds like an interesting film though hope you find it!
    – tohood87
    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:49
  • Any chance it could be: Hellacious Acres: The Case of John Glass? I haven't actually seen this movie and I can't be sure, but the description gives some of what you said here. It has: "feeding tube", "his pet keyboard he later loses", "he wakes up isolated and has to leave", "the movie is actually Canadian".
    – LeonX
    Jul 7, 2017 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


This is the Canadian sci-fi film Darwin from 2016.

In an oppressive future, where everyone's only contact is their computer, one lonely young man is forced to venture forth in search of human contact.

Most of the things you mentioned appear in the trailer. It's a dystopian future where the protagonist (a white young man in his 20s with dark hair) is confined to a computer chair, has a construction job and is fed through tubes, but when the chair malfuntions he has to go outside (where small drones are monitoring everything). He comes across a family and meets his (young blonde) love interest, but the younger daughter keeps complaining to the mom (played by Molly Parker) that he's leading the drones straight to them. Here it is:

  • 3
    My God Walt, this is it! Thank you so much for helping rid my brain of this nagging question! I had given up on figuring this out at all and figured I must just fluke into seeing at some point or else never remember. You're the man!
    – JimyT
    Aug 27, 2017 at 1:18
  • 3
    Congratulations, this is the winner of the monthly answer challenge.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Oct 8, 2017 at 15:50

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