Crawl director Alexandre Aja moves from a crawlspace to a cryogenic pod with Oxygen, a new thriller headed to Netflix. Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) plays a woman who wakes up in an extremely high-tech pod and discovers she has no memory of who she is or how she ended up here. To make matters worse, she’s unable to get out of the pod – and her oxygen is running out by the second. Can she remember who she is and find a way out before it’s too late? Watch the Oxygen trailer below.
Oxygen looks like a very self-contained thriller, in that it’s apparently set entirely within one location – a futuristic, high-tech cryogenic pod. Sure, it looks like there are occasional cuts away from the pod via flashbacks, but it seems we’re looking at a one-location film similar to movies like Phone Booth and Buried. This trailer is appropriately vague – just what is the deal here? Is Mélanie Laurent in space? The future? A clone? I don’t know, and more importantly, neither does she – finding answers to questions is part of the narrative. Here’s a synopsis:
Oxygen is a French survival thriller directed by Alexandre Aja. The film tells the story of a young woman (Mélanie Laurent, 6 Underground, Inglourious Basterds), who wakes up in a cryogenic pod. She doesn’t remember who she is or how she ended up there. As she’s running out of oxygen, she must rebuild her memory to find a way out of her nightmare.
Oxygen also stars Mathieu Amalric (The French Dispatch) and Malik Zidi (Play). Christie LeBlanc wrote the script. “I remember reading Christie LeBlanc’s script when it appeared on the Black List and feeling like it captured such an intense experience of survival so well,” Aja said in an interview. “It got me thinking of the best of Buried, but with a 28 Days Later twist. I was in it all the way, I pictured myself waking up locked in this cryo unit, trying to figure out who put me there and why, I felt her desperation.”
Aja is hit or miss for me. I often like the style of his films, but their contents leave something to be desired. However, his most recent work, the 2019 alligator horror movie Crawl, was pretty damn great, so I’m hoping he can keep that momentum going. Crawl played up the claustrophobic elements of trapping people in a crawlspace, and Oxygen takes that claustrophobia to the next level with an even smaller space. If this pattern holds I can only assume that Aja’s next movie will have someone trapped in a suitcase or something even smaller.
Oxygen arrives on Netflix May 12, 2021.
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