Top critical review
Alien on the ISS
1 August 2017
A near future set science fiction/horror movie.
On the International Space Station,a multi national crew are present when a probe from Mars brings back samples. Amongst these is life. Not as we know it. Rather it's a single celled lifeform.
Christened Calvin, the crew are studying the creature when things go very badly wrong. Calvin, like all life forms, has the urge to live first and foremost. And it's desire to do that could spell the end of the human race....
Yes, it's humans versus a deadly alien in space. But this is an original enough film in it's own right. Being near future set in a real place means it tries very hard to get the science right and the look of the space station. Plus the spacesuits on view. And it manages to successfully recreate a zero gravity environment on screen.
The cast all play believable people, of the kind you would find working as astronauts. So it does mean as characters, some do stand out more than others. Ryan Reynolds does Ryan Reynolds, but still has enough charisma to make an impression. Rebecca Ferguson shows a good determination. But Jake Gyllenhaal makes a very good impression by showing the hidden mental scars that his character has.
Also Calvin is a biologically believable creation, acting in a believable manner. Not necessarily an evil monster, either.
The film does have a good pace to it, some very good tension, and probably enough points science wise to keep nit pickers happy.
You do wonder how it can end as it goes along. And it does manage a good and effective conclusion.
It's perhaps a bit harsh to give it three, as it's more of a three and half stars film. It's very good for what it is, but it isn't one that will stick in the mind for long. Thus the rating. But it's still a pretty good watch.
The disc has the following language and subtitle options:
Languages: English, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Turkish.
Subtitles: English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Serbian, Slovene, Turkish.
It's also got English audio description.
The disc begins with an anti piracy ad and a trailer. They can be skipped via the next button on the dvd remote. The latter is in the preview section of the extras anyhow.
It contains the usual flyer with code for downloading a copy of the film onto a digital device.
Deleted scenes: Six of these, which can be watched individually or all in a row. Four are very brief. If watched in a row they run for five mins in total.
Life: In zero gravity: a six minute long feature about how the filming recreated a zero gravity setting. Very interesting and good viewing.
Creating life: the art and reality of Calvin: six minutes about the creation of the creature. Pretty good watch.
Claustrophobic terror: thriller in space. Seven minutes about the horror aspects of the sort. Also good viewing.
Astronaut diaries: two minutes in total, this has three clips of three of the characters recording video messages. These are very good and do add extra depth to the characters, so you wish it had been done for all of them.