On DVD & Blu-Ray: June 20, 2017


First impressions undoubtedly set a tone that will forever tinge the perception one has of another person or thing-such as a piece of entertainment. The first impression given by Life is that of an old fashioned horror movie. Sure, the comparisons to Alien are easy and to obvious extents, valid, but Life gives such an immediate indication of being inherently old fashioned in its approach to what would still be new frontiers that one can't help but to allow those tendencies to carry on throughout the entirety of the film even as it becomes slightly silly and a little long in the tooth. Life accomplishes such vibes by taking pride in showing the audience things we've become conditioned to by the movies that truly are spectacular were we to actually step back and appreciate them once in a while. Whether it be something as simple as the view of earth from space or the way in which director Daniel Espinosa's (Safe House) camera flies as effortlessly through the spacecraft in zero gravity as the characters do-these actions and spectacle are more appreciated due to the sense of sincerity the tone and score from Jon Ekstrand give off. Espinosa's film, which was written by the guys who wrote Deadpool and Zombieland (Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick), places itself squarely into the horror mold while utilizing the always compromising environment that is outer space to heighten the tensions and push the suspense up to eleven. In short, Life doesn't take so many notes from space movies as it does scary ones. Life is a thriller that means to make you claustrophobic despite the fact escaping said confined space would result in a slow, likely agonizing death. There are no good options except to stay and fight and so, as our six man crew is picked off one by one, we are exposed to the dangers of curiosity outweighing fear. We are exposed to how being blinded by what such discoveries promise can distract from the potential trouble at hand, but Life never becomes too heavy handed or ham fisted in these explorations of our psychologies or mentalities. Rather, the film finds a large entertainment factor in coming up with different types of situations to find that tension and suspense in-leaving the larger ideas to fill in the gaps in between; almost as if the residuals of the more striking moments are intentionally left to linger and for viewers to comprehend once the shock wears off. It's an idea that's easy to propose, but Life actually pulls it off rather well and is all the more fulfilling for it. Full review here. B-