By now every sci-fi alien attack in space flick has been done to death. "Alien" was decades ago, "Event Horizon" covered the psychological aspects and "Enemy Mine" brought humanity to the whole thing. So what is left? Well, in the new outer space flick "Stranded" not a lot unfortunately, but there’s still some engaging work both in front and behind the camera that cannot be ignored.
Four Astronauts are situated in a lunar base for the purpose of drilling ore. But the base is hit by a meteor shower and the damage is severe. So they decide to send out one of their own to repair things before it’s too late. On her journey and after patching things up, the crewwoman finds a meteor and decides to bring it back to the ship for analysis. Big mistake.
Even with the small fraction of detail above anyone can tell that there is a ton of sci-fi stories going on in "Stranded." Natural disaster, discovery of alien artifacts, then human hosts and even a pinch of cloning – the B-movie blender is full indeed. But within the multitude of movie clichés there are some chilling moments (like a gal who becomes spontaneously pregnant after a short nap - creepy for sure!) and decent direction (even on a low budget the space shots and areas look decent!) that saves this one from the bargain bin bottom. Plus I liked the use of the base leaking gas as a device to ratchet up the paranoia factor – is it real or the ramblings of someone seeing hallucinations? But the story here isn’t exactly original and never takes any viable potential any further than the space rookie stage. The performances here are also pretty standard stuff, with Christian Slater playing the sullen captain, Roswell’s Brendan Fehr as the worried ship’s doctor and in a pretty eerie turn Amy Matysio as the understandably panicked lone female on board.
Look, it’s not that "Stranded" is bad, it’s just not great. There’s a ton of stuff we’ve seen and not enough we haven’t. But it’s hard to place blame as again every space story has been done to death and there are only so many new strange new worlds and tales to explore. I’m not sure that throwing every single one into the film kitchen sink is a brilliant idea, but at least it’s not lazy one.
"STRANDED" OPENS VOD AND SELECT THEATERS ON JULY 26 FROM RLJ IMAGE FILMS.