Bloggers (2017)

If you really want to know what’s worth seeing in the world of independent SF film, the best place to start looking is usually at the SciFi London Festival.  

It’s been around for a long time now, and they’ve debuted quite a few interesting films, like Splice, 28 Days Later, Stingray Sam, Cyborg She, Avalon, La Hora Fria, and an impressive number of others, many of which you’ll find reviewed on this site.

This Spanish film appeared in this year’s Festival, and it is yet another interesting addition to the rush of spaceflight movies we’ve had since Gravity.  Although, I might be more inclined to compare it to the Swiss horror/suspense film Cargo, which offers a similar mix of long range space flights gone wrong, mystery, and government conspiracies.

On a routine spaceflight home something has gone very wrong.  There ‘s a bright light, and an impact. which seals off most of the ship, leaving the crew trapped in the few remaining sections, with dwindling supplies and the ship’s controls mysteriously off line.

But there is more going on than anyone realizes, help is not coming, and the survivors start to get desperate…

One of the realities of Independent films like this is that even the simplest attempts to portray weightlessness are usually way beyond their budget.  If you are one of those unfortunates who can’t accept a Space film where everyone is firmly stuck to the ship’s decks, then this isn’t the film for you (and, let’s face it, you’re going to miss out on a lot of intelligent SF films!).

Although here, rather than an extrapolation from some scientific principle (the sort of thing that a lot of SF fans see as the only possible form of intelligent SF), Bloggers is a solid drama about desperation, choices, and what we will do to protect those we love.  While this is a horror film, there are no deadly alien creatures on the loose in this ship: the monster here is ourselves, our willingness to do whatever it takes to survive, and what is hiding in the darkest parts of our nature.

I will note that the film’s title doesn’t seem to fit:  no one seems to be doing any blogging on board,, although many of the characters do seem to spend a lot of their time listening to their online messages.

This is a very solid film:  it offers strong characters, good performances and looks far better than it should on it’s tiny budget.  I’ll confess that I do wonder why no one made any effort to bypass, override or hack the computer; and there’s a shooting near the end that seems out of character (or is it that it reflects a darker side of her nature that we hadn’t really seen before things got that desperate?)  But these seem minor issues at best (and perhaps, as I watched the film with subtitles, I may have missed critical bits of information).  By any measure, this is a very accomplished SF/horror drama and it seems a shame that our atavistic American fear of subtitles will probably mean that this one will only be seen at festivals, on video, or perhaps late night on SyFy if they don’t have any reality shows to re-run.

Writer/directors, Ángel Manuel Chivite andAlberto Estévez deserve a great deal of credit for creating an impressive first feature. It should be interesting to see where they go next.

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