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High Life: Curiosity Kills The Cat Grade: C

Source: IMDB


I assume those whom have watched the trailer for High Life, have seriously no idea what it’s about, so I’m just going to keep it there and move forward with the review. There are a few admirable traits regarding the strange original A24 sci-fi film High Life. The Cinematography perhaps is the film’s strongest trait, the film is captured beautifully. The 4X4 framing worked immensely well, it was quite better than when the film is shown in wide framing when presented. The Cinematography was captured well by simply the set pieces in this film. Whether it be outer space, visual effects with black holes, the spaceship, the garden, the blue color pallet rooms, it definitely has a unique style to it. The Score was also really good, you can compare with the Score from the Alien films as it has that sort of style. I enjoyed a few performances from this film, cast all in all was good but not great. Robert Pattinson played a solid performance as the main character Monte, not his best work but still a good performance yet again. Mia Goth also played a solid performance as Boyse. Andre Benjamin t’was nice with his performance as well. So I enjoy sci-fi space thriller films, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Prometheus, Moon just to quickly name a few. I was looking forward to High Life because I honestly had no idea what to expect, it looked very strange and weird, I enjoy these kinds of films. High Life is one of those films, where if you’re not latched on towards the story, chances are you’re not going to like it as much. While of course there are a few admirable things about this film I like, but as an end product: I didn’t care at all for this film. My issues with it is the story, structure, and the characters. The story to me was 50/50, at times I enjoyed my curiosity towards watching this film played out. There is this one thrilling scene, that perhaps played out well out of every single scene shown, did a pretty good job towards the violence and even sexual temptation with the space crew. But there are times where my curiosity was trying so hard to search for interest out of this story, where I had trouble giving reasons why this story was appealing to me? Why these scenes worked? I had a tough time making solid points out of this unusual story to be honest. In one quick exposition scene, a random guy on a train pretty much explains why these people are on this mission in space. While this scene does help immensely due to the fact without it, we would not know why they are there... But this is such a lazy way to explain your film’s story. You could explain by duration of scenes, regarding the crew members of this ship, show rather than tell is what great films do with their stories. Which comes to another issue: Majority of the film should not be all in one location. Now we understand some of Monte’s character, because we had a scene in the snowy forest explaining how he came about on board. We should’ve had more scenes off the ship, helping us learn about some of these characters, how they came to be on this mission and their past. It’s hard for me to care about anyone, when I don’t know any of these characters as little is given to each and everyone of them, including Monte too. I didn’t like the way the film is structured as well. I think it should’ve been Monte’s past, then everyone on the ship, then the rest of the story played out. I did like that a couple characters have motives of why they did what they had to do during isolation, especially towards the doctor character and what she did. There is another solid executed scene regarding violence on a ship as well, truly terrifying and gory. I think if this film had a better story, that made better sense of what’s going on, without having to tell us in one scene what’s going on and better structure, this could easily be a good movie. Unfortunately I had trouble liking this film, I appreciate the originality and the few admirable aspects towards the film, just wish it was better. Overall, High Life was just ok. I would prefer checking this film out on DVD, some people may get more out of this than myself, but this film isn’t for everybody it’s a pretty weird sci-fi flick that’s for sure. -Mitch Smietana

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