Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Review: Stowaway

Director: Joe Penna

Screenplay: Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison

Year: 2021

Today I move a bit from the pure horror theme to dive into the science fiction thrillers and talk about “Stowaway”, a Netflix’s recent release. Although this movie definitely cannot be classified as horror under any circumstance, it does pack plenty of suspense, which is enough to open a space for it on this circle.

Three astronauts are chosen for a Mars expedition. The mission seemed to have been going according to plan until the ship’s commander discovers that there is a fourth traveler on board, which they didn’t account for. Now, the mission’s success is in question, as the crew realizes they do not have enough resources for the four of them.

Movies that take place in space, as well as those that have the ocean as a scenario, have an intrinsic suspense factor. Putting the protagonists in such a hostile environment to which they are entirely vulnerable leaves the viewer waiting for something to go wrong that puts their lives in danger. ”Stowaway” carries this sort of suspense and does a great job of using it in its favor.

The small cast shines with their performances in the reduced space that the spaceship provides (another factor that promotes the suspense). In charge of the ship, we find Marina Barnett, interpreted by Toni Collette (“Hereditary”; “Krampus”; “Velvet Buzzsaw”), from whom we are used to getting impressive performances, but the rest of the crew doesn’t fall far behind. The doctor Zoe and the scientist David, interpreted by Anna Kendrick (“Into The Woods”) and Daniel Dae Kim (“Hellboy”), are joined by the fourth traveler, interpreted by Shamier Anderson (“Race”). Besides the suspense that follows the movie from beginning to end, there is also an emotional factor attached to it, which falls in the cast and the actors handle with mastery.

Once the small crew realizes that they do not have enough resources inside the ship for four people, a race begins to delay as much as possible, making a difficult choice that will affect them all and compromise the integrity of the mission. Although during the whole movie the emotional side is kept close, it is in this part where the screenwriters Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison (“Arctic”), the first one who also directs, exploit this element and where the cast shows that they are at the same level as the expectations and of what the script requires. 

“Stowaway” will not figure in the list of the best movies with space as its setting, but it is a good movie in this aspect. It knows how to use suspense and keep the viewer interested in the plot and the characters, who are its best argument. Instead of focusing on the special effects, as often happens in this kind of movie, the director Joe Penna places much of the weight on the characters and their arc during a difficult situation, and his cast fully rewards him.

No comments:

Post a Comment