Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Film Review: EUROPA REPORT (2013)

Space exploration always makes for interesting film viewing despite how seldom it is ever done in a satisfactory way.  For every great horror film in space such as Event Horizon (1997) there is the less successful Apollo 18 (2011).  So now there is Europa Report (2013), a found footage styled suspense thriller about a team of international astronauts whose task it is to venture out to Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, which holds the hope of having life unlike any other planet in our solar system.  It is no new news that Europa is a moon covered in ice and if there is to be any proof of alien life then it would be underneath the ice on this moon.  

The mission is to travel to Europa and drill into the ice in search of any sign of life.  Before they even arrive at the planet they meet technical difficulty which threatens the life of the entire crew.  There is more disaster and challenges that the crew must face once they reach Europa which includes landing in the wrong spot on the moon which threatens the success of the mission and the possible psychological unraveling of one of the crew members.  Europa presents many challenges to the crew especially when they final delve under the ice of the moon to discover something that may be the most dangerous thing they’ve ever encountered.

Told from the perspective of the ships many cameras and cameras mounted upon the suits of the astronauts the found footage style is actually very effective for this film.  This is one of the few films of this kind which is both suspenseful and thrilling and effective as a science fiction and exploration film.  Many times the found footage film suffers from having a great set up but a dreadful follow through in the third act but this film gets better and better from beginning to end.  Even for people who hate found footage films this is a film that I recommend as it does not succumb to the abysmal failings of inferior films of this sub genre.

Written by Philip Gelatt and directed by Sebastian Codero Europa Report is one of the better found footage films out there because of the strong script and director not to mention the better than expected ensemble cast.  Whether you like horror films or not, science fiction films or not, or found footage films or not Europa Report is a film that you will enjoy regardless.

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