Sci Fi Horror ‘Immanence’ Pits Faith Against Science

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer

Plot: Radio astronomers discover a mysterious signal in the deep sea that could be contact with extraterrestrials. After several terrifying manifestations threaten their beliefs the team must fight to survive the ultimate evil.

Review: It’s extremely rare to see sci-fi elements mesh with a story that centers on the existence of Hell or the devil. Honestly the only thing that comes to mind is one of my personal favourites Event Horizon, a movie I enjoyed from the jump, no guilty pleasure required. It’s also not an easy thing to pull off. And while Immanence may not be a big budget flick or one chock full with blood and gore, I think for the most part they pulled it off in an interesting way.

Near, far, wherever you are…

A team of astrophysicists (don’t call them rocket scientists) are given the opportunity of a lifetime when a mysterious comet falls into the ocean and creates a signal that is believed to be extraterrestrial. They set out to make their names and prove the signal is just that. But the boat’s driver, a man called Jonah, thinks this might be something less scientific and more spiritual as well as diabolical. If you’ve seen a horror movie you know where this is going, but it’s the journey not the destination. And for the most part I enjoyed the journey.

There are a bunch of recognisable faces here with Michael Beach, last seen playing Black Manta’s dad in Aquaman as the aforementioned Jonah. Eugene Byrd (Anacondas, Sleepers) as boat owner Dave, Anthony Ruivivar (Starship Troopers) as lead scientist Roman and the man who can do “quietly menacing” like few others, Jamie McShane (Mank, Thor) as he who will not be named (but here they call him Immanence).

I am deeply disappointed in all of you

Part slow burn mystery, part philosophy debate, Immanence has a very intriguing premise that explores how most people are more inclined to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life without any hard data, yet even with thousands of years of history and millions of theological writings on the existence of spiritual entities those same people are more inclined to doubt. The amalgamation of these two beliefs has also been explored in other genre flicks like the above-mentioned Event Horizon and, even in the love it or hate it, Prometheus. Immanence is a much smaller scale movie that those two but I felt like the narrative was deftly handled in a way that kept me invested in seeing the outcome.

I told her to put on a scuba suit but nooooooooo

Sadly where this move falters may be in its subtlety as they never truly go full horror here. I would’ve like to see a bit more action (so to speak) and a bit more of each character coming to terms with what was happening on board their vessel. Instead both the second and third acts felt rushed to me. And while there was a ticking clock element thrown in once the truth was revealed I never felt any real sense of tension. We also never really connect with any of the characters beyond Jonah so whatever happened to them came and went without any real impact.

Immanence is a very interesting take on the subject of faith versus science; it’s just a shame that it didn’t go further with it, instead choosing to play it safe and for the most part delivering an ending that tries to play itself off as ambiguous, but for those who have been paying attention was actually quite predictable. Still there was enough here to make me want to see more from director and writers Kerry Bellessa and Joshua Oram. Hopefully their next movie will feel confident enough to take the training wheels off and just let it all ride.

Sommer’s Score: 5 out of 10

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2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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