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"Alien" meets "The Thing". This sounds like the best thing ever but somehow the movie is only just barely a good enough one.

Generally speaking, low budget science-fiction movies are never really amongst the best ones, as this one also clearly demonstrates. This movie is supposedly to take place on Mars but it never ever looks of feels like this movie is set on another planet. As a matter of fact, it's a bit too obvious how all of the Mars scenes got shot in a remote desert, with some rocks, somewhere. This also means that there is never a desolate atmosphere and the tension and suspense also really isn't as good as the movie clearly wants it to be.

But there is also another reason for this really; there isn't a clear visible 'villain' or threat in this. Just some space virus that turns people into some...well space zombies I suppose. Still sounds awesome to some perhaps but this is not an awesome type of movie. It clearly wants to be more than just another space adventure and horror movie. It wants to be taken more seriously as well but it just isn't ever doing anything clever or original enough with anything to work out as something more profound and serious.

The build up is lacking as well. It never feels like this movie is ever building up toward anything interesting, surprising and suspenseful, which is not just due to the story but also really due to the way how it all gets handled. The character development is for instance really lacking as well, which is another reason why this movie doesn't ever really becomes a very tense one to watch. You don't ever care enough about any of the characters and when one of them dies (that's not a spoiler is it?) it's also hard to care, since you don't feel any emotional involvement, or that you truly got to know that person in the fist place.

Liev Schreiber still is great in this though. even if is his character isn't. He shows once again what he's capable of and proofs himself as a great actor, who's perfectly capable of carrying a movie, even if the movie itself isn't all that great.

But really, it's also far from a terrible movie. There is nothing truly bad about this movie, it's just that there isn't anything special about it either and the things that it's trying to do don't always work out too well. It's still a watchable movie but just not one that I would ever recommend to anyone.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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