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Bold, Fast-paced And Sleek – New Life (Film Review)

2 min read

While we were all in lockdown, we all gravitated to watching Steven Soderbergh's horrifyingly familiar and accurate medical thriller Contagion. We were all shocked by the films ability to seemingly predict the future pandemic and the rules and stipulations we would end up following. Many stories have since followed, portraying a world where there has been a deadly outbreak of a mysterious disease that is rapidly failing to be contained. For the most part, these are largely exploitation pieces, cashing in on our anxieties and experiences during this period. New Life is a refreshingly human and exciting horror-thriller that marks the arrival of writer-director John Rosman, who shows incredible promise as an up-and-coming filmmaker.

Following a mysterious woman on the run as she is tracked by an experienced fixer to bring her in. As the narrative unfolds, this cat and mouse story turns out to be far deadlier than meets the eye.

The mystery woman turns out to be Jess (Hayley Erin) who is desperately trying to cross the Canadian border to escape her past. On her tail is Elsa (Sonya Walger), who is set to track and bring Jess back to her bosses, while also being kept in the dark about their intentions and reasonings for wanting Jess obtained. Elsa is also dealing with a recent life altering diagnosis which hinders her ability to complete her mission.

Both actresses are great in their respective roles and really flesh out their characters. Walger in particular is a standout as she is effectively a pawn within this story, being used by a dark corporation to do their bidding as she is handicapped by her new diagnosis. Her emotional beats are some of the most sobering and grounded parts of this story.

For the most part, New Life leans more heavily into the thriller genre, with extreme success. There are major twists that catch you off guard and keep you heavily invested with where the narrative is going. However, where Rosman's directing really shines is when he incorporates horrifyingly bloody body horror moments.  They are few and far between, but whenever they happen, they are very well done.

This is a bold, fast-paced, and sleek debut by Rosman who shows tremendous directorial prowess with New Life. Clocking in at around 80 minutes, this is a tense and twisty horror-thriller that will keep audiences on their toes.

New Life is available in the UK on Digital Download now