Liz in her hi-tech box

The amazingly up-down career of director Alexandre Aja hits a peak with Oxygen, a brilliantly conceived and executed piece of high-concept sci-fi calling on all Aja’s skills as a manipulator of tension, a master of genre, a technical whizz. Whether it’s his breakthrough, Switchblade Romance, or his deliberately schlocky Piranha 3D (featuring the memorable line “They took my penis”), Aja’s at his best working from a good screenplay. Oxygen’s is by first-timer Christie LeBlanc and is very strong – structurally taut, plausible and building gradually in pace. Paragraph three and I haven’t said what it’s about yet. It’s very simple. A woman wakes up in a dark box. When the lights come up … Read more


Adam meets Anthony in Enemy

If there is such a thing as “what the hellness” then Denis Villeneuve’s latest film absolutely has it. But then the French-Canadian does have form. With Incendies Villeneuve managed to turn the conflict in the Middle East into a thriller with a reveal that disconcerted and amazed. In Prisoners he made us feel bad for suspecting that a lank haired, stuttering, educationally subnormal Paul Dano was a paedophile, and then made us feel bad for cutting such an obvious wrong’un too much slack. The tricks are more playful in this latest exercise in duplicity. As with Prisoners, Enemy stars Jake Gyllenhaal, this time as Adam, a history professor who suddenly spots his spitting … Read more