Netflix’s Arq is a great example of an independent film not only overcoming a low budget, but actually using it to its advantage.
The story begins with Renton, played by Robbie Amell, waking up next to his girlfriend (played by Rachael Taylor).
A group of armed men break into the bedroom, shoot him in the head, and he miraculously wakes up in the same position.
The men break in again, shoot him again, he wakes up again, and thus the central premise is established: the characters are trapped in a time loop and need to somehow escape.
The vast majority of the film takes place entirely in Renton’s house. and yet there’s still solid world-building being done through dialogue and scenery.
But even though the audience never leaves the house, they still come away with a good sense of where and when the film is taking place.
The time loop is an especially interesting plot point, even though it is pretty well worn at this point.
My favourite part was the ending. Yes, you can see it coming a mile away if you’ve seen even one time travel film, but I found it added a welcome touch of dark comedy to the movie.