From the very beginning, Life informs us of its key influence – the title font alone bears a striking resemblance to that of Alien (1979). The problem is that Life doesn’t seem to know whether it is a tribute film or a less intelligent imitation. The references are too overt to be unintentional, yet the film never quite manages to venerate the original franchise that defines it. Life positions itself in a way that forces comparisons between it and Alien – but side by side, it is clear that the latter is supreme. The monster – a gelatinous octopus – cannot hold a candle to the primal, parasitic nightmare that is the Xenomorph. Exceptionally, the first few establishing minutes (and a terrifically unexpected first death) promise greater thrills throughout the film. What a shame, then, that neither the cast nor the writing can save this film from falling flat. Though by no means offensive, Life fails to provide anything authentic, discarding potentially rich plot-lines by the wayside.