Netflix review - 'Oxygen', a breathless thriller

You could say this is the perfect lockdown film... Netflix released Oxygen on Wednesday, its latest piece of original French content. It's an ambitious locked-in-a-box sci-fi film with Mélanie Laurent. Claustrophobics beware.

Oxygen is a French survival thriller directed by Alexandre Aja, the French master of horror known for his American blockbusters like The Hills Have Eyes, Horns and Piranha. It tells the story of a young woman (Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds), who wakes up in a cryogenic pod (don't worry it's no spoiler, this is clear in the first few minutes of the film). She doesn't remember who she is or how she ended up there. As she's running out of oxygen, she must rebuild her memory to find a way out of her nightmare.

Having a whole film in the tiniest pod was surely challenging for Alexandre Aja, but thanks to memory flashbacks, the spectactor is able to escape from time to time, unlike Mélanie Laurent. The French actress, present in almost every shot of the film, is terrific and shows, as she has many times before, how she is confortable in pretty much any genre.

Without revealing anything of the film, expect a M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village) type of twist and get ready for 1h30 of tension and growing mystery, all inside a tiny high tech box. You might find yourself gasping for air after...


Watch it if you liked Room, Alien, The Descent, Gravity.

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