+ high-res version

Watched: 9 September

Not a taxing film by any means, and as plenty of other people have pointed out before me it’s very much an Alien rip-off, though evidently nowhere near as good or as terrifying as Ridley Scott’s original, claustrophobic horror. However, I did actually enjoy Life; if nothing else it’s perfect fodder for a mindless Saturday night in front of the TV. There’s no doubt that the few big names appearing here have turned in better work and aren’t exactly stretching themselves (well, I suppose Ryan Reynolds might be), but the plant-like alien creature that grows and later wreaks havoc on board the International Space Station is enough of a horrible and clever fucker for you to sympathise with the characters as their perilous situation gradually worsens, and it sustained my interest all the way to the silly ending as a result. It’s not great, or even particularly ambitious, but I think this one has been unfairly maligned, and having since watched the bloated, self-important and incredibly dull Alien: Covenant I’m even more impressed by Life‘s simple, throwaway b-movie nature. (***)


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