A group of characters, an isolated location and, of course, the monster that attempts to kill all the characters are the key flavors of a horror film, right? “Life” follows this recipe and tastes stale.
“Life” begins in medias res with five scientists in outer space retrieving a satellite with samples from Mars. Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) is the first scientist to get one-on-one time with an organism containing nerves and a nucleus. The organism moves and Hugh says that this is a discovery of life beyond Earth.
Each scientist has his/her own job on this intergalactic adventure. Roy Adams (Ryan Reynolds) is the repairman. Kat (Olga Dihovichnaya) is a doctor that tends to the other scientists. Sho Kendo (Hiroyuki Sanada) tends to the core parts of the ship, and David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), is a man who’s been in space for over 400 days and doesn’t want to return to Earth.
For 25 days, Hugh watches over the creature that soon grows into a sperm-like specimen. It responds to him and Hugh starts getting attached to the creature, calling it Calvin (a name coined by an elementary schoolgirl). One day, while shocking Calvin, it takes hold of Hugh’s hand. The grip is cute at first, but gets tighter and mangles his hand!
Roy and the other scientists save him. Calvin breaks out of its glass cage and runs loose on the ship, becoming an octopus. As Calvin grows, this space trip becomes a constant struggle for survival as the scientists try to kill it before it reaches Earth.
I haven’t seen a lot of horror films, but “Life” is a predictable horror film. Just as you think the characters escape the monster, it comes back with a vengeance. Certain scenes made me jump, but overall it was the same mediocre horror film. The only difference was that instead of taking place in a laboratory or haunted house, it happens in space. The scientists couldn’t even defend themselves.
Even the ending was predictable!
There was a lack of character development. Some scenes revealed things about the characters, but we didn’t know how they were chosen to go into space. The beginning should have showed them all leaving their families, getting on the spacecraft and blasting off into space.
Some visuals of the spacecraft and Earth in space were beautiful. Reynolds gave his comedic performance similar to “Deadpool.” As an R-rated movie, I felt there should have been more blood and gore. “Life” should’ve taken notes on “Logan” and “Underworld: Blood Wars.”
People may adore “Life” if it’s their first horror film. Otherwise, it’s just a repeat of horror films that take place on Earth.
Studio: Sony (1hr. 43 min)
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ariyon Bakare, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya, Hiroyuki Sanada, Camiel Warren-Taylor
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Story: It’s a struggle for survival after a team of scientists discover an organism from Mars and it runs loose on their spacecraft.
Final Score: D-