February 12, 2012
Fifth House Ensemble Pumpkin
February 12, 2012
I find that there are three kinds of apocalyptic movie watchers:
- Those who love apocalyptic movies
- Those who hate apocalyptic movies
- Those who can watch apocalyptic movies as long as they don’t completely ruin your faith in human existence
I am in category three.
Therefore, when I was presented with watching a movie that was widely advertised as a suped-up human versus aliens flick, I was apprehensive. These movies usually have a destruction of all order, a very low human survival rate, and large monstrous goo spewing creatures with very little explanation for their actions. Not good for humanity or any other extraterrestrial creature. I am pleased to say that this movie has almost nothing to do with any of those stereotypes.
For those who haven’t seen the movie, I’ll give a little synopsis. Basically a alien spaceship parks itself over Johannesburg. Humans, being the naturally curious and prying people we are, find a way into the spaceship and find out that the aliens inside are malnourished and in need of help. This leads to the construction of alien refugee camps and local resentment etc…
I found several parts of this plot interesting. First of all, most of the warfare and story was done under wraps from the public which I found more realistic to real life. Most ground breaking actions in this world are done out of sight of the general public and if a major diaster were to happen it seems logical that society would act as it usually does to similar attacks. Society works similar to the human body under crisis. The immune system isn’t going to change it’s tactics just because there is an unknown pathogen. It tries the normal method first and improvises from there.
I also thought that the message of the movie was opposite of the typical alien flick. Usually, it is all about hating people or things that are different and therefore pose an immediate threat to survival. However, District 9 seemed to say that no matter how different somethings is, it needs to be understood from inside the culture instead of from the eyes of the observer. It also made a valid point that giving help to those who need does not help much if those helping don’t see the needy as equals. It was an interesting lesson from a movie that I found to be marketed completely wrong. It seems crazy to me that a trailer would take such a twist on the alien story and throw it in with the rest of the “end of the world” alien dramas. I say District 9 deserves a second look.