19 06 2011


Come to Rhea


A Swiss science fiction thriller made its way onto the silver screen in 2009. The movie steps away from the recently developed tradition in the genre and delivers a sci-fi reality check-the Earth is dead, humanity is picking up the slack, things are brutally rough. And then, light in the end of the tunnel-there’s an escape. The catch is to earn one’s way to that expensive futuristic Garden of Eden called Rhea.

A fantastic, believable and definitely authentic acting is what makes this movie stand out from many sci-fi productions of the past decade.

Laura Portmann is a medical employee of a space cargo ship. The fact that she is a doctor, says many things. She deals with human life and human death on a daily basis. She uncovers things that only an MD would. Her knowledge and experience is also her best weapon. Anna-Katharina Schwabroh’s performance in her role as Laura, left an amazing effect on me; the impression of seeing my little sister work towards realizing her very human dream. I wanted to be there for her and I felt bad that she was alone like that.

The cargo ship’s trip is harsh. Starship’s personnel go into stasis, come out of it, take turns to monitor the ship. On Laura’s watch, she discovers that their cargo is not what she initially thought it would be. Odd, blood-stilling things come next. This is when it gets really hairy…

Cargo is exactly the type of film that I would classify as ‘cozy horror’. Having been spoiled by the amount of violence that skyrockets our adrenalin, it’s a good idea to step back, take a break and watch something that thrills but doesn’t provide a platform for a heart attack. In Cargo, the threat is there, the chill is there, the survival fever is there, the loss is there, but there are no graphic violent images like, say, in Event Horizon.

Many reviews tagged Cargo’s romance sub-plot as rushed and hardly realistic, thus, in my opinion, overseeing the film’s obvious intention to highlight all aspects of human response to a long-term isolation in space which was done exceptionally well.

Love story in Cargo is not a true love story but a reaction to confinement, paired with normal physio-hormonal reaction to the presence of an opposite sex that human brain mistakenly treats as genuine. Such things are known to happen among a mixed group of people stranded in the mountains, in a desert, in any other extreme hostile environment. It’s one of many human survival techniques that Cargo embroiders into the main plot line.

A word needs to be said about notable special effects in the movie. Cargo didn’t have a multimillion budget to work magic with, which didn’t stop the crew from creating vividly detailed astounding imagery with a high quality visual impact-all action takes place in space, custom made, high tech, refined and simply breathtaking.

Copyright Camilla Stein ©2011. All rights reserved.

View the official trailer with English subtitles on Youtube



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