Alex Garland’s sophomore effort is a dazzling, ambitious and frequently terrifying piece of sci-fi filmmaking.

“It’s not destroying… It’s making something new.”

I have a lot of feelings? Agitation. Confusion. Awe. Fear. Mostly fear. It’s a skin-crawling experience, the effects of which have still yet to relent. There’s a palpable sense of dread that latches onto this story and looms over these characters the moment they enter the Shimmer. It intensifies as the movie progresses, tightening its grip over you in the lead up to that heart-stopping final third.

It feels rare to find that in what is essentially a big studio production – huge props to Alex Garland. He’s quietly emerged as one of the most impressive figures in genre cinema of the last 20 years. Both on the page and behind the camera. This feels like a more flashy expansion of Ex Machina‘s patient, cerebral sci-fi storytelling. The visuals are dazzling – a marriage of colourful CG creativity and some beautifully composed shots. And the perfectly balanced female cast sell it all so well.

Man, I hope this gets a sequel.

4 Stars

Teaser art by James Mason


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