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Life in comparison to Alien

Breanna Roen, Staff Writer

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A few weeks ago, I had recently gotten off of work and was invited to go see a movie with some friends. After careful consideration, we decided “Life,” directed by Daniel Espinosa. After finding out it was about a foreign life form from space, I was pretty excited.

I love the Alien franchise (even though they probably should have stopped after the first two) and was hoping for another on the edge of my seat thriller. What I did not expect was it to be, essentially, another Alien movie just under a different name. Frankly, I was a little disappointed.

The Alien franchise, began back in 1979  is considered to be Ridley Scott’s most well-known film. Sigourney Weaver alongside a crew of hard working astronauts are trying to head home when all of a sudden an unwanted passenger arrives on the ship.

Critics and audiences alike agreed that they probably should have stopped after two (if you don’t know why, watch and find out for yourself.)

“Life” was released only a few short months before the next chapter in the Alien franchise, “Alien: Covenant” which will be released on May 19. This is the movie I have been waiting ages for considering the original director is behind the action. I enjoyed ”Life” as a whole, but try not to be like me and compare it to “Alien.”

The reason I say “Life” is just another “Alien” movie is because of several reasons. The first reason is they have the same diverse cast and around the same number of people who were aboard the ship working as the crew. “Life” had six people, but “Alien” had people.

The plot and story themselves are very similar with only minor differences here and there. In “Alien,” the xenomorph, which is the technical term for the name alien, boarded the Nostromo without the crew knowing. In “Life,” the team discovered a specimen and began conducting experiments. I will try not to give away names during these next few paragraphs, but here is fair warning of spoilers ahead.

In “Alien,” we all know the classic chestburster scene where the alien baby exits from its human host and begins its tirade of murder and massacre. Well you guessed it, murder and massacre begins and they are now on the run from the life form named Calvin.

There are a few differences though which makes “Life” a stand alone movie but it could be better. In “Alien” we aren’t aware what the alien itself looks like until halfway through the movie. The alien itself is also a terrifying force that no one should have tried to deal with. In “Life,” the life form doesn’t seem to terrifying or harmless until the environment that Calvin was contained in changed. Calvin seemed rather small and harmless, but because I saw the trailer for the movie

I knew terror would be ensued sooner than later. Once Calvin’s environment changed, he became a monster of some sorts. Obliterating everything in his path in search of oxygen and food source, and what better than a human host? When Calvin finally reveals his face we find out it is much more terrifying than what we thought.

I knew this was an alien movie, but I was truly hoping that it wouldn’t be a want to be Alien franchise.

Overall, if you look at “Life” in it’s own separate entity, it was an edge of your seat thriller that left me very happy with the outcome. I was very happy with this movie as it’s own being and the direction it decided to take along with an ending that is begging for a sequel.   

If you haven’t seen this movie, I would recommend it. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and try to tie the Alien franchise and this movie together as one.

Is it an Alien franchise wannabe or is it a masterpiece of it’s own?  Feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss the movie.

Breanna Roen is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at breanna.roen@und.edu

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Life in comparison to Alien