The International Space Station is the back drop for this single location space thriller, which sees six scientists awaiting the arrival of a probe from Mars bringing soil samples. Wouldn’t it be easier just to have the prob come back to earth and let earth based scientists play with the samples. Of course it would, but then using the ISS as a type of quarantine in case the prob has bought something nasty back. Which we all know it has.
Of course to start with things are going well, the lead scientist finds a dormant cell and manages to coax it to life. Everyone celebrates. But after a little while the critter decided to go into hibernation made, supposedly knowing that to continue growing it would need to feed and having no apparent food sources decides to sleep it off. The scientist being a scientist views this a failure believing that Calvin the alien (yes, they named it) decides to prod it with what is essentially a miniature cattle prod to see if a nice little electric shock therapy can juice the poor fella back to life.
And it does.
But Calvin, whose every cell is both “a muscle, a brain and an eye,” as we’ve already been told by the main scientist, is not too happy to be woken in such an aggressive manor and goes from playful to full on deadly grabbing the scientists hand, wrapping itself around it and squeezing till every bone is broken.
But now Calvin is angry and hungry, and wants to get out and soon is internally eating one of the crew and growing exponentially in size and capabilities.
Being a horror (well, more of a taught paced thriller in my mind) the six brilliant minds on board the ISS have to at some point each make a trip down to the cellar, so to speak, making seemingly stupid mistakes that have you screaming (inside your head) at them not to be so bloody stupid. But hey, if they had all kept their cool, the nasty Calvin would have been expunged early and the film would have never got funding from Sony.
So what we have with life is a surprisingly entertaining film that easily moves you to the edge of your seat on numerous occasions, replicating what happened with cinema in the 80’s where we went from the friendly Alien in E.T. (last years Arrival) to the deadly Aliens in, well, Aliens a few years later and seems to only be pointing to more bloody fun with the upcoming Alien Covenant.
As much as I liked E.T. and Arrival, space is much more fun when you’re on the menu.
Rating: R13 Violence, horror scenes & offensive language.