Extinction – USA, 2018

‘We were not here first’

Extinction is a 2018 science fiction thriller directed by Ben Young (Hounds of Love) from a screenplay by Brad Caleb Kane and Spenser Cohen. Eric Heisserer (Arrival) also worked on the script.

The movie stars Michael Peña, Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield), Mike Colter, Lilly Aspell, Emma Booth, Israel Broussard, and Lex Shrapnel.

A working-class father of the future faces recurring dreams of destruction by an unknown force. When his unwanted nightmares begin to affect his relationship with his family, he soon realises they may be the key to a horrible reality, as a relentless alien attack begins to destroy the Earth. As the invaders’ assault progresses, he is forced to find both the strength to protect his family and an understanding of who he truly is…

Originally slated for a January 2018 release by Universal, the movie was subsequently acquired for an  exclusive release by streaming channel Netflix on July 27, 2018.

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Reviews:

“When the film does finally play its hand, it softens the film’s flaws a bit by recontextualizing everything that came before. For some that will be enough of a saving grace. It’s a simple, efficient sci-fi thriller with big Blockbuster aspirations but without much charisma or soul.” Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

“Relative to the string of sci-fi flops that preceded it, Extinction is a competent, if formulaic film. Its dilemma, like many of the films in Netflix’s growing sci-fi catalogue, is the way its best parts are subdued on the small screen while its worst (dialogue and clunky storytelling) are enhanced.” Jake Nevins, The Guardian

” …thanks to a combination of insightful commentary and an unexpected third act (not to mention great, understated acting and some pretty sweet sci-fi action), Extinction may be the rare Netflix original movie you actually watch twice.” Jake Kleinman, Inverse

” …will quietly live in a dark corner of Netflix. There, some viewers may click, and if they make it through the mildly intriguing first hour, they’ll be rewarded with a nice plot twist and a few action scenes that might win them over. Beyond that, though, there is very little to like about Extinction.” Germain Lussier, io9

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“If you like formulaic films then this is for you, if you’re looking for something to break the mould, look elsewhere. It’s entertaining enough, with larger than life set pieces, with dystopian vibes throughout. Caplan is one of the highlights here, she may be the wife – read sidekick – but she comes into her own.” Jo-Anne Rowney, The Mirror

“There’s a tightness that I respect with Extinction. It’s not so much a thrill-ride but a movie monorail, with one revelation at the end meant to reconsider the entire journey. That speaks to its efficiency as the latest in mindless, if not attention-less Netflix movies. “Extinction” doesn’t seek to be much, but it’s just not all that charming, either.” Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

Filming locations:

Serbia

Trivia:

This film should not be confused with the 2014 British film of the same name about prehistoric predators.

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