Top critical review
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a dark and disturbing film
on 19 April 2016
This is highly peculiar movie - concerning aliens, abduction, and self-sacrifice. While I did enjoy the film, I found it both disturbing and, at times, very unpleasant to watch. Nonetheless, if you like tales that are strange, weird and wonderful ... and not so straightforward as to be fully understandable in a single viewing ... then you may enjoy this film.
It's loosely based on a novel of the same title, by Michel Faber. The plot concerns a female alien who comes to Earth, arriving in Scotland, and takes on the appearance of a beautiful and sexy young woman (Scarlett Johansson). She's tasked with seducing and luring lone men to a derelict house, in which they fall prey to a trap - being caught in some sort of liquid dimensional rift - and where they're slowly dissolved (while still alive) from the inside out ... and then, as goop, their remains are sent off to some other world (presumably to be consumed).
This femme fatale realises that what she's doing is wrong. And she starts to acquire a genuine interest in - and possibly a liking for - the Earth and humankind. So she decides to cease her activities and run off ... resulting in some male aliens trying to track her down.
It's a very bleak tale. There's no humour, and little or no joy, in this movie. It succeeds in portraying a picture of 'us' (people) as alien, as seen from the protagonist's perspective. We are "the Other" - and such a depiction can be disturbing.
It's well acted all round. There is some nudity, and brief moments of sex (including a rape scene). So this is not a kids film. I suspect that, over time, this movie will gain an audience that appreciates its dark qualities.