Anti-Life (2020)

John Suits

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Cody Kearsley, Bruce Willis, Rachel Nichols, Kassandra Clementi, Johnny Messner, Corey Large, Callan Mulvey, Timothy V. Murphy, Thomas Jane

Set in the future, a spaceship flees a dying Earth with a few thousand survivors on-board. This interstellar ark carries the last remnants of humanity, which includes a stowaway named Noah (Cody Kearsley), who wants to reach New Earth and become a father to his unborn son. Those plans are thrown into turmoil by a shape-shifting alien, whose goal is to slaughter everyone on the ship.

Working off a screenplay by Edward Drake and Corey Large, this is a film whose inspirations are most evident, from some vent-exploration reminiscent of Die Hard, to the alien invader carrying elements of both the Xenomorph and the Predator. The creature is reflective of the film, as they're both hollow imitations of better things which came before. By the time paranoia and a flamethrower come into play, the urge becomes great to put on John Carpenter's The Thing.

In the directors chair is John Suits, a producer and editor who gave us that strange Die Hard commercial for batteries. As the film occurs in dimly lit sets, it becomes rather difficult to tell what is actually happening on our screens, and when something does become visible, it's sadly a bore. This should be a pulse-raising scenario within the isolated location, but what we're left with is a bog-standard spin on zombies that's hampered by poor visual effects.

What's most unfortunate is how we're following characters desperate to survive, taking an interstellar chance on a brand-new planet, and it's a struggle to actually care for their plight. The time isn't taken to explore who they are, it's just considered enough to label them with one trait and move along. Take Noah, our lead who found love with the daughter of the ship's captain. We should be rooting for this core relationship, and feeling the tense dislike from his father-in-law, but these are barely fleshed out, as Noah remains the only one awake through most of the film. There's just nothing which allows us to latch onto these characters, as they arrive without much characterisation or distinctive personalities, and keep making stupid choices. It just makes us want the alien to succeed, and speed things up as a result.

Anti-Life is available on Digital Platforms from 12th February, and DVD from 15th February