One Of The Most Overlooked Sci-Fi Thrillers Is Now Available To Stream

District 9 is now available to stream on HBO Max.

By James Brizuela | Published

Back in 2009, a science fiction film came out of nowhere and swept the world, especially given that it was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and it is currently available to stream on HBO Max. That film is District 9 and is a highly underrated masterclass in both the sci-fi category and the assumed “real” documentary style which a lot of filmmakers are now replicating. What made District 9 so special was director Neil Blomkamp’s vision of tying in the reality of current world sociopolitical affairs into a science fiction story that was truly believable.

District 9 holds a 90% “certified fresh” critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an equally impressive 82% audience approval rating. While the movie only made $210 million in worldwide box office numbers against a budget of $30 million, it became the unsung hero of the 2010 Academy Awards. The film would go on to wow audiences and critics alike based on the fact that this was Blomkamp’s full-feature debut.

District 9

District 9 is based in 1982 in South Africa and follows a race of aliens who have crash-landed on Earth. The ship opens to the world, and severely malnourished species are discovered, and deemed to the world as “Prawns.” It is decided that these Prawns are to be relocated to a housing area known as “District 9.”

In charge of this big relocation is a company known as Multinational United (MNU), which appoints a man named Wikus van de Merwe to lead the relocation, as he is the son-in-law of MNU executive Piet Smit. During the relocation, Wikus is exposed to Prawn technology that is meant to fuel the crashed ship and take this race of aliens back to their homeworld. The Prawn technology begins to have severe effects on Wikus, as he begins to transform into a Prawn himself.

Without ruining the rest of the film, you can see it right now on HBO Max. What made District 9 so special is that it tied into the 1980s and the apartheid era in South Africa, as the Prawns were being moved to District 9, which symbolized the real-life District 6 during apartheid. Blomkamp was able to blend real-world sociopolitical issues into a science fiction story that was both heartbreaking and eye-opening.

As previously mentioned, the movie was nominated at the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010 for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects. Though District 9 was not able to land any awards, it was a huge honor for Neil Blomkamp to be nominated in his first full-length feature outing. If that is not convincing enough to detail how good this film is, Peter Jackson also helped to produce the film.

District 9 brings with it a completely original story that is tied to historical happenings in a truly inventive way. The documentary style is utilized to showcase how the Prawns were treated was perfectly, especially when the people are speaking to the camera about Wikus, utilizing the full circle narrative quite perfectly as well. Stream this one out on HBO Max, if you have not already.