Making the ground-breaking discovery of life on Mars and ready to return to Earth as some of the most celebrated astronauts of all time, the six person crew of a space station are faced with a slight problem… the discovered life form starts killing them.
is, indeed, somewhat unoriginal, it is in debt most visibly to Alien
, where even the monster itself at times resembles the xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic. However, despite its genre retread, Life
still captivates. Director Daniel Espinosa gets the pacing perfect, bringing gripping, heart-pounding tension to the sci-fi horror genre that we haven’t seen for years.
The alarmingly attractive crew, led by Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Swedish beauty Rebecca Ferguson, all give committed suspenseful performances, keeping us twitching in our seats instead of noticing the plot holes.
Visually, even in its grimmest moments, this claustrophobic thriller is still beautiful; from the sprawling shots of space and Earth, to the specs of blood floating through the cabin. And just as violence becomes its most threatening, it’s set against the storytelling of children’s bedtime story Goodnight Moon.
If you can forgive some of the reliance on genre familiarities, Life
is the perfect popcorn blockbuster, which will keep you intrigued, frightened and disgusted throughout, with a truly spectacular and jaw-dropping finale.
Words by Joe Passmore
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