The Sci-Fi Thriller On Netflix That Will Leave You Short Of Breath

By Steven Nelson | Published

oxygen netflix

In an age where science fiction films often bombard us with grandiose spectacles and interstellar explorations, Oxygen comes as a breath of fresh air, honing in on a singular, intensely personal experience. Streaming on Netflix, this high-stakes thriller captivates its audience with a brilliantly executed, claustrophobic narrative that is as suffocating as it is riveting.

Strap in for a suspenseful journey that not only explores the confines of its physical space but delves deep into the complexities of the human psyche, led by a compelling performance from Mélanie Laurent.

Mélanie Laurent stars in Oxygen streaming on Netflix

In the spine-chilling sci-fi thriller Oxygen, viewers are introduced to a nightmarish scenario that taps into one of the most primal human fears – being buried alive.

The narrative unfurls entirely within the confined space of a futuristic cryogenic chamber, where the protagonist, Elizabeth Hansen, portrayed by the ever-talented Mélanie Laurent, wakes up with no memory of who she is or how she ended up there.

As the clock ticks ominously, Elizabeth (or Liz as she comes to realize), must race against time, dwindling oxygen levels, and her fragmentary memory to piece together the fragments of her past and find a way out of her chilling predicament. In a desperate bid for survival, she has only the chamber’s AI system, MILO, to assist her in navigating this perilous situation. 

Elizabeth must race against time, dwindling oxygen levels, and her fragmentary memory to piece together the fragments of her past

The gripping narrative of Oxygen takes viewers on an edge-of-the-seat journey where every second counts, intertwining elements of psychological drama and science fiction in a manner that lays bare the raw intricacies of human desperation and resilience.

The movie cleverly intertwines flashbacks, gradually unveiling the backdrop of a world grappling with a cataclysmic event, thus adding layers to Liz’s complex character and the dire situation she finds herself in. It’s a race against time and a fight against claustrophobia in a plot that holds your breath hostage until the very end.

oxygen netflix

Oxygen experienced a somewhat polarized reception from critics, standing as a testament to its ambitious plot and high-stakes setting. Many praised the film for its claustrophobic and suspenseful atmosphere, which was significantly attributed to Mélanie Laurent’s compelling performance.

Her portrayal of Liz, a character encapsulated in a whirlpool of despair, confusion, and fear, garnered significant applause for its depth and complexity. Critics highlighted her capability to carry the weight of the film, essentially being the sole character on screen for the majority of its runtime.

The film’s direction, helmed by Alexandre Aja, was appreciated for crafting a narrative that skillfully blends psychological tension with elements of science fiction, creating a gripping and immersive viewing experience.

The technical aspects of the film, including its cinematography and sound design, were also noted for effectively enhancing the claustrophobic atmosphere and adding a layer of intensity to Liz’s plight.

However, not all reviews were glowing. Some critics pointed out that the narrative tended to stretch thin at points, with a reliance on the lead’s performance to carry through some of the slower, more ponderous segments. A few even argued that the film’s climax, although undeniably dramatic, veered slightly into the realm of predictability, possibly failing to deliver a final punch that resonated powerfully enough, given the build-up.

Despite these criticisms, Oxygen managed to carve out a space in the realm of science fiction as a movie that offers not just a gripping narrative but a terrifying contemplation of futuristic technology and the human will to survive. It stands as a breath of fresh air in the sci-fi genre, inviting viewers to lose themselves in its high-tension, close-quarters drama, which for many, proves to be a successful formula.

In the end, Oxygen serves as a riveting journey into the depths of human endurance and the perils of futuristic technology. With a standout performance by Mélanie Laurent, it keeps the audience gripped to their seats, exploring what it truly means to fight for survival against the odds.

Whether it will leave you breathless or craving for more, this Netflix offering surely brings a dose of high-stakes tension to the science fiction landscape, proving once again that sometimes, the most terrifying battles are fought within the confines of the mind.