America’s endless and futile war on drugs has become one and the same with its war on terror. Fred, an undercover cop, is one of many people hooked on the popular drug, Substance D, which causes its users to develop split personalities. Fred is obsessed with taking down Bob, a notorious drug dealer, but due to his Substance D addiction he is unaware that Bob is actually his own other personality.
Based on legendary science fiction author, Philip K Dick’s own experiences, A Scanner Darkly tells the darkly comedic, but deeply tragic tale of drug use in the modern world. The film plays like a graphic novel come to life, featuring live-action photography overlaid with an advanced animation process – a method known as interpolated rotoscoping, first employed by writer/director Richard Linklater’s 2001 film, Waking Life – to create a haunting version of America, seven years from now.