Director Michael Pearce demonstrated a eager capability to play in a number of style sandboxes concurrently along with his function debut, Beast, which saved audiences guessing proper up till its conclusion. His awaited follow-up, Encounter, continues his streak for wildly imaginative and interesting character-driven work via a genre-bending filter. Solely this time, it’s run via the setup of a paranoid alien invasion-style thriller. It unnerves and impresses in equal measure, constructing to a shocking and suspenseful sophomore effort that hinges on the magnetic performances by its forged.
Malik Khan (Riz Ahmed) is a extremely skilled and embellished marine with a talent for assessing danger and hazard. His observant nature implies that he’s the one one which appears to note the unusual, alien bugs which might be slowly invading and taking up the our bodies of everybody round him. It’s taking place so rapidly that Malik is unable to warn anybody, nor can he belief anybody. Malik does what any father would do in his place; he takes his younger sons from his estranged spouse’s residence after she’s been bitten and embarks on a street journey to base for security.
Pearce co-wrote the script with The Ritual screenwriter Joe Barton, creating a bigger scaled paranoid street journey film between father and two younger sons. Malik makes an attempt to be the enjoyable dad, permitting his sons to partake in all of the sugar and sweets they need or educating them to drive on the desert roads of California and Nevada. However he retains a vigilant eye on their environment for indicators of bugs and an infection. The trio encounters mistrustful and infrequently trigger-happy folks alongside the way in which, creating intense situations that shatter all illusions of household bliss.
Encounter largely adheres to a well-known, Invasion of the Physique Snatchers-style paranoid thriller because it settles into this new household dynamic between father and sons. Proper up till they’ve discovered a cushty groove, then Pearce bends the style shackles and shifts into excessive gear. Although the filmmaker is rather less profitable right here with ambiguity, the shift’s impression doesn’t hit fairly as laborious as supposed. Even nonetheless, the world is a harmful place, translating right into a surprisingly violent third act. It culminates in a grand spectacle of a showdown that continues to defy style conference.
It’s a gorgeously shot function that immediately reels you in with its paranoid and mysterious premise. However what makes it work are the performances. Ahmed greater than capably carries the movie because the caring dad that teeters near the breaking level greater than as soon as due to the fixed hazard. His two precocious and charming sons, performed by Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada, carry the movie’s coronary heart. Octavia Spencer additionally brings a gravitas to a a lot smaller however very important supporting position.
Pearce’s sophomore effort continues to mark him as a filmmaker to look at. Encounter doesn’t precisely forge new floor, but it surely’s the execution that impresses. It’s a stunning and heartfelt household drama, but it surely’s additionally a suspenseful and typically stunning paranoid thriller. Pearce blends the 2 opposing sides of this story seamlessly and affords wealthy however thinly veiled subtext, too. It’s an atmospheric street journey thriller that does retread some acquainted floor, however the performances elevate it into one thing extra exceptional.