A Brief History
On March 22, 2017, John Carroll University’s Paranormal Research Group had the privilege of viewing an early screening of the new science fiction/space/alien movie Life, and despite high expectations we were not disappointed.
Earlier in the week, on Monday, March 20, 2017, we attended an incredibly fun pre-screening party promoting both Life and another upcoming film, CHiPs, at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio.
Then the big day came on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 for our preview screening of Life at a packed Atlas Cinemas Eastgate 10 in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
The film is characterized by an incredibly realistic portrayal of life in a space station, with special effects that are so seamless you can believe the movie was actually filmed in outer space. The illusion of weightlessness blew us away, giving us cause to wonder how did the movie makers do it? Casting of the multi-national crew was first rate, with quality actors giving convincing performances. The tension and angst felt by the characters was easily transferred to the audience. We did not hear any side conversations or giggling during the movie, a sure indication that the audience was paying rapt attention. The plot was presented in a realistic way, with logical steps that could conceivably be taken if humans in space encountered an alien life form as in the film.
The alien “monster” in the film is named “Calvin” via an elementary school naming contest as the epic news of the discovery of microscopic life in space is broadcast to Earth. Calvin is another special effects treat, and you could easily believe it is a real living entity. The film makers have given Calvin a unique look different from typical alien monsters found in such films as the Alien franchise, Predator, or The Thing. Calvin manages to be terrifying without weapons and without a mouthful of enormous teeth.
The film is rated “R.” but you can consider it a “soft R” as there is no nudity and the alien attack/death scenes, while terrifying, are not particularly gratuitous in their gore. Personally, we think the film should be rated “PG.” Perhaps the gripping terror felt by the astronauts as they deal with Calvin is enough to rate an “R,” as it well could be.
If you are a fan of space and alien oriented movies this film, Life, is a must see. Horror fans will be equally entertained, and we believe the film is good enough to spawn a sequel or sequels, and belongs in the pantheon of great space alien horror films.
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you seen this film? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information about similar films, please see…
Carpenter, John, dir. The Thing [Collector’s Edition] [Blu-ray]. Shout Factory, 2016. Blu-ray.
Scott, Ridley, dir. Alien Blu-ray. 20th Century Fox, 2011. Blu-ray.