The press notes for Alex Taylor’s feature debut, Spaceship, advise you to expect a Harmony Korine film set in Surrey. Going in with an aversion to Korine’s desperately controversial style of cinema therefore brings both apprehension and expectation that it could be an entertaining story of alien abduction and youth. Unfortunately the result is disappointing, eventually boring, and has a bad case of unnecessary exposure to neon.
After a briefly promising opening compilation of goth teenagers contemplating the existence of extraterrestrial life, the film proceeds to bombard us with endless Tumblr-worthy scenes of edgy behaviour between alien abductee Lucidia and her friends. They spend their time dressing in “crazy” outfits, discussing unicorns, rainbows and parallel universes, and ruining their parents’ houses with spray paint in the name of youthful artistic expression. Sigh.
Spaceship is so wrapped up in trying to look and sound “out there” that it loses its sense of direction almost immediately. It’s difficult to tell if the dialogue is ironic or if it’s supposed to be serious, which caused some awkward laughter throughout this increasingly silly 90 minutes. “I have this dream” is repeated by almost every character with tedious frequency, which then of course leads to them spouting a few minutes of pretentious nonsense about neon rainbows and black holes to demonstrate the complex inner workings of their mind. The use of contemplative voiceovers works at first, but it becomes stale when almost the entire film relies on this in an attempt to be profound.
Spaceship could have been so much more exciting and remarkable if it had only dropped its need to be complex and deep. It’s all attempt at style, and no substance, and unfortunately this makes it empty.
CAST: Alexa Davies, Steven Elder, Antti Reini, Tallulah Rose Haddon
DIRECTOR: Alex Taylor
WRITER: Alex Taylor
SYNOPSIS: Lucidia is a teenage cyber-goth whose mother died mysteriously seven years ago. Her father Gabriel is an archaeologist who can’t move on. When Lucidia disappears in an apparent alien abduction, Gabriel is forced to confront her strange outsider friends.