A Review of Life

No, this is not a memoir on my life nor is it a how-to guide on how to live life–I’m only 24 for God’s sake. This is a review of the movie Life, a  science fiction thriller set in the deep of space. When six astronauts from the International Space Station discover the first evidence of extra-terrestrial life on Mars they bring it back into the ship to be studied. What happens in subsequent events leads to a chilling and gut wrenching 90 minutes of horror beyond their wildest dreams.

Positives

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the review let me just say that I am a sucker for sci-fi thrillers so I didn’t exactly go into this without any bias. That being said let me tell you as a friend to a friend, a movie lover to a movie lover, that this movie is one of the most suspenseful and chilling science fiction horror thrillers that I have ever seen–right up there in my book with Alien I II. In fact the premise of this movie is extremely similar to Alien. Scientists bring unknown life form aboard, life form turns out to be deadly and systematically begins to hunt down the crew members. However Life was able to reimagine the parameters of the story and shine it in a new light that not only seemed unusually original but also built upon its solid casting and assured directing and cinematography to deliver a terrifying and immensely satisfying film experience. All the right ingredients are there–the character development is well established, the sound mixing is awesome, the pacing is excellent (which is my greatest compliment to the film) and the plot twists and gut wrenching turns keep the viewer interested and engaged. I was on the edge of my seat more than once in this film and the ending was the stereotypical type of ending for the genre but still left me with my mouth wide open. All the actors are incredible–especially Jake Gyllenhall who once again proves his talent and timeless diversity in being able to embrace any role and make it authentic and compelling.

Negatives

Not much to report here. I loved every minute of  it. Sometimes it was hard to understand what the crew members were saying. A couple have heavy accents so some dialogue was lost. Also the crew speaks in a lot of technical jargon that went over my head but that’s expected. For those who suffer from a weak stomach or are worried about scary images I will say that the movie is violent, in a physical way, yes but more so in a psychological way. There are many perilous situations that will make you squirm in your seat as the alien does its work. The imagination of the director is in full throttle during this film. There’s enough suspense and horror to fuel two films yet it’s not excessive. It’s well placed and very well executed.

Final Thoughts

Life is a must see for all science fiction lovers and suspense enthusiasts. It’s smart, sexy, and makes for a heck of a ride. In fact had it come out before the Alien movies it would have been a ground breaker but nonetheless it stands on the shoulders of giants and delivers a chilling yet strangely beautiful twist on the trapped-in-space-genre.

Daily Diatribe Rating: 9.8/10