Captive State (2019): Sci-Fi / Thriller

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Nine years after alien forces invaded and colonised Earth, an underground movement, stealthily, plans an attack to fight back.

This is not “cinema of attractions”. No “Independence Day” (1996) effects with marching songs while shouting “we will fight” narrative. “Captive State” focuses on the world’s political and socio-economic state after the extra-terrestrials’ colonisation, leaving out the early terraforming practices. As stated next to the title, it is a sci-fi/thriller and not an action film. Political-espionage case scenarios resembling Europe just before WWII cannot be avoided.

The acting is solid and so is the photography and directing. If you asked me what I think it lacks the most I would say emotional investment. I felt hard to engage as the main characters are underdeveloped. Also, the masterplan gets too complicated on occasion even though it offers the desired twist. I guess the script could have gone through maybe a couple of more rewrites.

A perfect example of a groundbreaking sci-fi/thriller came only ten years before “Captive State” and it is none other than “District 9” (2009) – Neill Blomkamp’s finest film to date.

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10 Cloverfield Lane (2016): Drama / Horror / Mystery

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J.J Abrams strikes back! With a one location, slow burn, claustrophobic, gripping mystery / thriller (occasionally horror), that will keep you on the edge of your seats. Is John Goodman actually a deranged, child-abuser? Should Mary Elizabeth Winstead escape? What’s happening out there? Are they better off inside? That said, the third act put off the vast majority of the fans. But I’ll leave it up to you.  Don’t read anything about it, just watch it.

Whether it ties to “Cloverfield” (2008) or not, it is something that you need to figure out. Then, should you decide that it is a “blood-relative”, figure out how. And should you figure that one out, then when. And after you think you have connected all the dots, watch “The Cloverfield Paradox” (2018) and feel free to gouge your eyes in.