If you heard me say to you, “Hey, let’s go see this claustrophobic horror/thriller in space,” you wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that I was referring to Ridley Scott’s Alien or at least a sequel. However, in this case, I would be talking about the newly released Life staring Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hiroyuki Sanada, Olga Dihovichnaya, and Arlyon Bakare. Life does use similar plot points to Alien, being that it takes place in a claustrophobic area as a team of astronauts and scientists try to survive as an evolving alien lifeform hunts and kills them off one by one, however it still manages to feel fresh and entertaining despite its similarities to the 1979 classic.
One of the biggest differences from Alien is that Life does not have one protagonist, rather it follows all the astronauts equally without any defining lead. This allows you to be able to attach to the characters a bit more, as well as add an extra level of unpredictability. If they had one defining protagonist (like Ripley) then it is a safe bet that that character would be safe, or at least not be the first to bite it. Throughout the film, I was unable to pinpoint who would be the lifeform’s next victim. And that really adds to the atmosphere and terror. (more…)