This Netflix horror movie was written by bots

The first horror movie written entirely by bots is available on Netflix. — AFP pic

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NEW YORK, Oct 14 — Netflix has undertaken a rather unusual experiment: it asked bots, ie, a form of artificial intelligence, to write a script for a horror movie. And the result is quite impressive. Though the film features a host of clichés, it features dialogues that are both absurd and funny, worthy of some of the genre’s most beloved cult flops. And Netflix seems comfortable with the effort, as it is showing off the results of the experiment by putting the short film online on one of its YouTube channels.

Netflix can’t be accused of being lacking in originality! With Mr. Puzzles Wants You To Be Less Alive, the platform has created a horror movie written entirely by bots. To come up with the script, the artificial intelligence was given more than 400,000 hours of horror movies to ‘watch.’ The movie is actually a short film of 4 minutes and 23 seconds, full of absurdities and clichés. The plot starts with a woman “with outer beauty and inner blood” hanging from a rope over a vat of “chair saws, the furniture pain sits on.” A semi-terrifying character in a kabuki mask asks her riddles that she must answer. If she makes a mistake, there are violent consequences. 

Ultimately, this bot-penned short film is quite successful in a kind of parodic-horror vein: clichés are omnipresent, but the bot seems to play with them, which gives the whole ensemble a rather comedic effect. In fact, the viewer has the impression that the presence of this robotic voice — not unlike that of automatic translators and synthetic readers — sets off the humor found in the dialogues and sequences. 

To create this short, Netflix worked with Keaton Patti, author of a book called “I Forced a Bot to Write This Book: AI Meets BS, where he forces a machine to ingest massive amounts of human writing to produce utterly cheeky dialogue and humor-filled narrative. 

This isn’t the first time that Netflix has tried out artificial intelligence-generated scripts. Its YouTube channel Netflix is a Joke offers other short films written by bots.

Watch Mr. Puzzles Wants You To Be Less — ETX Studio