Directed by Daniel Espinosa in the film “Alive” (2017) successfully mixed elements inherent in the genres of space horror, science fiction and thriller. In the picture, there was a place not only for the “running” of astronauts around the ISS with “hide and seek” from an alien xenomorph in the compartments of the ship and rescue capsules. The authors of the film reflect in an everyday way about the meaning of space research, about the importance of knowing the world around us and ourselves. The film ends with a fair maxim that discoveries are always fraught with danger. But this is not a reason to stop, but a call: when faced with the unknown, be more prudent, wise and cautious, remember the possibility of irreversible consequences for all of humanity.
The main differences between the space thriller “Alive” and fellow sci-fi genre:
The effect of the appearance and understanding of the essence of a xenomorph that operates on a spaceship of earthlings. An unusual group of astronauts, led by the protagonist leader, becomes a victim, given to the slaughter of the monster’s appetite. A well-coordinated international team of six scientists, equal members of the crew of a research spacecraft, opposes the unknown “living”. The chosen location is not a virtual universe in a futuristic future. Events unfold in our time on board a very plausible apparatus. He must deliver to Earth samples of soil taken by a space probe from another planet.
Living is a substance that got on board the ISS from Mars. As the story progresses, it shows the astronauts (and with them the audience) how far you can go in the struggle for existence.
At first, the “living” is a single inert cell, which the researchers manage to bring out of suspended animation with the help of a stun gun. Top dressing with glycerin and glucose turns a small translucent creature (in the form of vessels glued crosswise with a plaster) into a snot-like pink blot.
The kid unexpectedly takes a powerful “bite” on Dr. Hugh’s finger and devours an albino laboratory rat. And the naughty child, who has grown to the size of a toad, begins to run around the ship, play pranks and cut off communication with the Earth. Wave-like movements with pseudopods help him become a cute octopus, which makes the strongest “hugs” with its tentacles – without a chance to free itself from them.
The decision that the xenomorph must be destroyed comes to the crew members late, when it is no longer possible to cope with it. A multicellular creature has unlimited possibilities for adaptation and development, since each cell has a set of properties of the whole organism. This extraterrestrial substance is interesting to scientists. But the rapidly developing mutations of a harmless Martian friend, whom the children on Earth suggested to call Kelvin, turn him into a predatory and aggressive monster. This creature has one desire: to grow and stay alive, turning everything around into food.
It is this dissonance in Kelvin – outwardly not repulsive appearance and terrible bloodthirsty deeds – for the viewer that causes horror and a sense of powerlessness in front of an alien creature that is not going to live according to earthly laws.
All variations of Riddley Scott’s “Alien” (and its analogues) show the Gigerian predator – an initially aggressive alien creature, a vile and dirty monster of enormous size with a hefty toothy head. Movies like “Attraction” by Fyodor Bondarchuk convince us that alien life forms are humanoids. And representatives of this race are even better than earthlings: more intelligent, highly organized, bright in thoughts and pure in soul. Espinosa in the film “Living” claims that cosmic life is radically different from us, requires careful study and is fraught with a lot of dangers.
Wrong are the audience, who at the end of the hundred-minute timing hoped that Miranda would be able to escape. She will go in a capsule to Earth. And the heroic doctor David, at the cost of his life, neutralizes Kelvin, who has fallen into suspended animation from hunger. The capsule with the astronaut, who is in the tenacious embrace of the “alive” will circle endlessly in orbit in deep space.
Screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese came up with a radical ending for the film with exactly the opposite. Five of the six crew members die. The surviving David Jordan lands (more precisely, splashes down) somewhere in the waters of Southeast Asia. It is in a capsule, the entire space of which is braided with some kind of mucus and mold. The surviving scientist frantically signals to the fishermen who discovered him: do not open the hatch. The final shots show that the escape pod from the Pilgrim has been opened, and new boats with people are approaching it. Lines from the song of the Mumiy Troll group pop up in my head: “An alien guest Flies from afar An alien guest I don’t know yet What will you bring me …”.
The film “Alive” clearly demonstrates that the sci-fi genre is pushing the boundaries in the film industry. If earlier these were stories about the violent capture of the Earth by aliens, now we ourselves are “digging a hole for ourselves”: we took an unknown Martian creature on board a spaceship and voluntarily raised a “living” one that is capable of ruining all of humanity.