Review in Brief: Oxygen (2021)

An amnesiac woman (Mélanie Laurent) wakes up in a sci-fi cryo pod and has to figure out why she is there and how to escape using her logic and an only intermittently helpful AI (Mathieu Amalric). There have been lots of claustrophobic thrillers over the years, usually the only notable thing that changes is the shape of the box. Like most of these things maintaining almost unbearable tension is only worth it if the eventual payoff is good, and the final stretch in OXYGEN doesn’t disappoint. It’s perhaps a little less bold in how it tries to tie everything up a bit too neatly, but the film is still full of ideas, director Alexandre Aja is a sure pair of hands in his tight control of the situation and the enticing information reveals and Laurent’s exposed performance is completely and utterly compelling throughout. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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