Yes, I’m way late to the party. Being out of the country really set me back on my movie viewing, so once I returned to America, I made it a priority to see two movies: District 9 and Inglourious Basterds. The Basterds is still in the wings, but I finally caught District 9 last night. I wish I had seen it sooner!
Now, I’m a fan of Cloverfield, mostly because it’s a giant monster movie but also because it tried a different style with its POV run-and-gun shooting. So knowing that District 9 would also be a little from the hip, and not shot like a traditional movie didn’t bother me much. However, where it sometimes distracted or nauseated viewers in Cloverfield, the style completely enhances District 9. I *LOVE* the pseudo-documentary feel. I could watch HOURS of it, and felt the whole movie was just so real. Makes me want to visit Johannesburg so that I can visit with the Prauns.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot, but I think everyone knows it’s about aliens arriving on Earth and becoming part of society. I expected something similar to Alien Nation, and other than a giant mothership suddenly appearing, the similarities end there. It’s bleak and sad, but also incredibly well-thought out and described. The look of the alien “Prauns” is inventive, along with their integration into the world. At first, I was really turned off by one of the main characters for a good bit of the movie, but was surprised how it turned around for me.
Less than one-third into the movie, the couple a few seats across from me left the theater. I can only imagine that they were hoping for more explosions (if only they had waited!). The way District 9 ramps up is a testament to Neill Blomkamp’s skills. This guy is amazing as a director, skillful as a writer and I can’t wait to see what he does next. I just hope it involves aliens, robots or some mix of the two.
My only gripes: I want more info. We don’t get nearly enough of a breakdown on what’s going on with the aliens. I really like learning about how things work, like what the alien biology is, etc. but District 9 holds its cards pretty close to its chest. Maybe District 10 will have more answers. If you haven’t seen it, go to the nearest theater immediately… and if you have, join me as I think I want to see it again!
Need further convincing? Watch the trailer again: