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(Review originally written at 26 May 2008)

For some reason I've always loved watching "Species", even though I very well realize that it isn't a particularly good movie. Still due to its approach and handling of a really unoriginal concept and story, the movie can be regarded as one of the best science-fiction movies from the '90's.

If you need to compare this movie to something, you can easily compare it to any of the "Alien"-movies. Of course over the years "Alien" and its sequel "Aliens" have been ripped-off countless times and film-makers often tried to cash in by making basically "Alien" and "Aliens" clones, using the same concept, settings, characters, locations, complete sequences and whatever more that it was that made these two science-fiction movies such an highly acclaimed success. Yes, in my opinion "Species" can definitely be seen as an "Alien" clone but out of all the movies that ever tried to rip off the "Alien" movies in any way possible, this is easily the best movie, that at times even makes you forget how unoriginal it actually truly is.

Also no big wonder that the movie should remind you of "Alien" at times, also since the alien in this movie got designed by the same man who designed the original alien for "Alien" and all of its sequels. So perhaps this is also part of the reason why you so easily can forgive this movie from ripping off "Alien" in parts.

It's a surprising movie from Roger Donaldson, who had never done any science-fiction or horror before and he also hasn't done any ever since. Donaldson is these days mostly known for directing more serious movies.

It's perhaps its horror that also makes this movie work out so well. The movie is not just a science-fiction movie about an alien on the loose but truly knows to create a dark moody atmosphere as well and puts in a couple of true great and effective horror moments, which makes the movie tense and in a way also unpredictable to watch, also since the movie is not too afraid to kill off its main characters.

There is also some gore in the movie that is good looking, with its often graphic killings. Also the make-up effects are great and the movie uses some early special effects, that especially for 1995 standards seem like pretty good ones, even though the movie itself somewhat feels and looks like a low budget production.

The movie makes a choice not to only follow the team that is called in to hunt down the alien but also shows things from the perspective of the alien herself. She's constantly learning things, which she uses to adapt and blend in and to eventually get what she wants. This approach gives "Species" a nice extra dimension. It's like "The Day the Earth Stood Still", only with a not so friendly alien.

The movie also has an amazing cast with actors such as Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker and Michelle Williams involved. Whenever I hear the name- or a thinking of Ben Kingsley, I'm not thinking about "Schindler's List" or "Ghandi" but I'm thinking about "Species". I don't now, I just find it to be a very amusing role by him, despite the fact that he plays his character totally death serious.

I love this movie!

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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