Liv Tyler has been sort of flying under the radar these past few years, at least compared to the high profile her role in the Lord of the Rings films gave her. One of her newly announced projects ought to get people’s attention, however, because she’s going into outer space. Tyler will be starring in the upcoming space thriller The Side Effect, directed by horror wunderkind Ti West (House of the Devil).
The Side Effect will cast Tyler as Catherine Rigby, a woman who volunteers to be a test subject for an international pharmaceutical company. She agrees to spend several months alone in space as part of an experiment. Sounds exciting, if a bit lonely, right? Well, the “lonely” part is resolved when she suddenly finds herself pregnant. Rather than assuming this spontaneous pregnancy is the foreordained coming of Space Jesus, Catherine is instead quite alarmed and contacts the company to try to figure out just what in the hell is going on. Needless to say, the corporate types aren’t terribly forthcoming or helpful, so Catherine finds herself stranded alone in space, growing increasingly paranoid as she tries to figure out what exactly is growing in her belly. That’s what she gets for not making that facehugger wear a condom.
The outer-space setting will be new for director West, but the horrific themes certainly won’t be. He started getting people’s attention with his ’80s horror homage The House of the Devil back in 2009, and he’s about to release his take on the “haunted inn” genre with next month’s The Innkeepers. The contrasting isolation of space and claustrophobia of space craft/space stations have been mined very effectively by dozens of movies since Ridley Scott did it best with the original Alien, so it will be interesting to see West’s take on this genre. Here’s what West told Deadline about The Side Effect and the casting of Tyler:
Although it is still somewhat of a horror film, it is much more psychological than any of my previous efforts. It was essential that I find an actress who could portray a wide range of emotion and always earn the audience’s sympathy no matter what the situation. As soon as I sat down with Liv, it was obvious she was the one.
The Side Effect is expected to arrive sometime in 2014.