Life Ultraviolet Code
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good for what it is and definitely worth a watch
By Lt. Frank Bullitton April 22, 2017
I'm a fairly harsh movie critic in general and very unforgiving of movie rip-offs, which is why I am surprised I actually liked this film.
From the previews, this appears to be nothing but an Alien rip-off and I expected as much. I even said aloud in the theater, "I liked it better when it was called Alien," when I watched the trailer. Yes, there are going to be some Alien themes anytime you encounter an alien on a space vessel, but this was not a blatant clone. Somehow it finds a way to carve out its own niche in the genre of alien encounter films.
Too often today, films jump straight into the action, fearing the audience cannot bear 5 minutes without an explosion on the screen. Life takes its time building suspense and letting you grow complacent. Naturally you know the outcome, but in the beginning you almost feel hopeful the encounter will turn out differently. Pacing on this film was just about perfect, which is one big reason I liked it. I wish more directors would focus on building suspense.
Characters were reasonably well developed, though this is still a sci-fi horror film. You are not going to get full insight into these characters, but you get enough to understand their motivations which is what I ask. There were several instances where characters ignored the most basic safety protocols and some fairly significant plot holes. True horror comes from the fact that you can do everything right and still not survive. There may have been two or more mini-facepalm moments, but at least it was not Prometheus bad.
All the title characters were well acted and the dialog was spot on. I really appreciated one character's insight into their predicament. It's a topic not addressed often in these type of films, but too often we assign malice to foreign encounters. Aliens are not necessarily malicious, they are just trying to survive. Humans exist only because other organisms are sacrificed to fulfill our needs. There's no malice in eating a hamburger, but it sucks to be one. We actually see these men and women of science devolve just as Calvin evolves. They start off with lofty ideals, but quickly come to realize they are merely competing to survive against a superior predator. One of the most telling quotes comes at the end of the movie, "I know it's not scientific, but I feel pure hatred for that thing!" It's a refreshing aspect you don't often see in simple horror films.
Should you watch this? Absolutely! You already know what it's about from the previews and if you enjoy this type of movie, this is actually one of the better sci-fi horror movies out there. No, it's no Oscar winner, but it is a suspenseful, entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.