Life

Before I sat down to watch this, I shared a message on social media.

Now, I realise ‘scary’ is all relative. As the aforementioned ‘wuss’, I’m put off watching lots of things because I don’t need to be frightened. Michael Jackson’s eyes at the end of that Thriller video gave me nightmares. (True, other things about MJ are more scary with hindsight, but we didn’t know that at the time …).

If it hadn’t been for my boy Jake, I probably would have waited for this to come out on DVD when I could watch it in daylight. But I couldn’t let him down.

I say all this because I probably had a different experience than someone more used to jumpy films. All I can do is let you know the above, then tell you what I thought having seen the film.

And so I was expecting jumpy bits, and they were mostly predictable, so I didn’t really jump. I did watch some of the bone-squishing bits through my fingers, however, and looked away when the creature decided to ‘enter’ certain characters (no more as no spoilers).

The characters were a text book selection of stock characters for the most part, there were a couple of plot holes that bugged me, and I didn’t quite get the geography of the vessel during the action scenes (which I’ve heard said elsewhere too, so not just me).

I wanted to know why Jake’s character was so convinced that a floating box above the earth was where he belonged. Why none of the other crew had been informed of and had signed up to the protocols that Rebecca Ferguson’s character had implemented prior to the mission. Why certain crew members disobeyed direct orders … well, I suppose I should have expected that from Deadpool, but then there wouldn’t have been a story.

However, I still found this to be an enjoyable slice of sci-fi horror which rattled along nicely in its neat run-time. It offers some very interesting thoughts on interactions with alien life-forms which are different from the benign encounters we recently saw in Arrival; about how it’s OK for us to visit other places and raid the land but a reciprocal visit? – nah, not so much (which put me in mind of so many conflict situations in both the past and present among the nations of our own planet); how everyone seemed surprised that a creature doesn’t like being jabbed by an electrified probe.

It’s a science fiction as a metaphor for ‘civilisation’ on Planet Earth as usual, and I was intrigued enough not to be scared – and stupid enough to be focussing on what I thought would be a different plot twist at the end. Consider me duped!

A version of this post first appeared at www.filmdispenser.com

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