Life has a simple concept. A team of scientist astronauts (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare) have taken a sample of Marian soil and found a living organism embedded within the red dirt. Not wanting to risk any catastrophe, the team will study the single cell creature in a space station above Earth, but as Life is a sci-fi horror, things go horribly wrong as the creature beings to grow and evolve within days.
Life might be a simple concept, but the movie builds a quality experience around a claustrophobic setting with interesting characters. The only downfall that Life has, and it is pretty huge, is that it is nowhere near the first nor original in its premise. This movie is about a team of people in space being terrorized by an alien life form that grows and adapts every day, and the team has to try desperately for this creature to not to reach Earth. Sound familiar? I’m sure everyone just thought of the Ridley Scott classic Alien, but there are several other films that could fit this genre. In fact, movies like Event Horizon also came to mine as the space aspect is highly important here and the tension and fear is super high.
Looking at Life in a vacuum, it is a tense thriller that creates its mood through fear and what might happen rather than what actually happens. Sure, some of the crew dies, but there isn’t much gore or terrifying deaths that will have people feeling sick. However, many scenes might have you covering your eyes because you fear the unknown and that is where Life wins. The good news is that, because of all the other films in this genre, you should already know if Life is for you.
At the end of the day, Life would be an instant winner if it were something new or original, but it really isn’t. When this movie was over, because of movies like I mentioned above or because of video games like Dead Space, I knew what to expect and it didn’t shock me. Sadly, I can’t tell if Life will be a movie that I forget in the years to come, but I believe that if you are going to make a movie, don’t copy a classic. You won’t change our minds. However, if you are young and never seen Alien, then maybe give this a try… then again, just go watch Alien!
7/10 Stars – Even though this is a copy of several “monsters in space” movies, Life does its job well and is worth a look, but don’t expect to be wowed.