At times visually & thematically ambitious, at other times massively derivative of James Wan. While Blomkamp's small-scale sci-fi horror is a better film than many of its vociferous critics would admit, it still seems hampered by ludicrous plot developments that are never fully justified or explained. Nonetheless, there's an interesting story about regret & reconciliation here, as well as strong horror set pieces.
1.5 Poor Neil Blomkamp, it seems like he only had one good movie in him. Elysium was terrible and I like Chappie but it's more of a guilty pleasure. Based on the bunch of short films he directed in 2017, we can say that the man has good ideas but he doesn't know how to properly develop them. He really should team up with a writer, so he can do better. Although I have to say that horror is definitely not his field.
[Sitges FF] It gives the impression that the film is lost between its condition of horror cinema and the use of technologies of volumetric capture. Starting from a proposal on the use of technology to combat possessions by the Vatican (what "Evil" (Paramount +, 2019-) does better), the film is cold, which surprises in a director who, at least in his first two films, handled the pace and the action with great success.
A really bad movie on just about all counts (save for the lead actress who was quite good). This movie suggest that District 9 was a fluke fro Blomkamp since he has been on a downward trajectory since. Nothing here reads as thought through and skillfully handled. The script is riddled with bad plotting, narrative inconsistencies and clunky exposition. And the bottom line is that the script is very bad.
It's sort of forgivable that it looks a little rough around the edges - it was, after all, made off the cuff during COVID-19 on a very low budget. What's not forgivable, though, is to allow such shitty acting and to have come up with such a dumb script and then to direct that dumb script with no pizzaz or originality whatsoever.