The revolving door of films coming to and leaving Netflix can be a real pain. I’ve often had a cool movie pop up in my recommended list, but when I finally settle down to watch it, I find that it’s already left the service. Fortunately, the upside is that when a beloved but maybe slightly forgotten film appears on the platform, it gets another moment in the spotlight. And today, it’s the turn of one of the best science fiction movies of the 21st Century, as Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 has just been added to Netflix.
This is an action-packed body horror parable inspired by historical events in apartheid-era South Africa. The opening of the movie establishes that aliens have arrived on Earth, parking a giant spaceship over Johannesburg. In an ordinary film, the aliens would uplift us with new technology or simply invade, but here they’re more like refugees seeking sanctuary. This setup is used as the launchpad for a bizarre story in which our hero, played by Sharlto Copley, begins to mutate into one of the aliens.
The film received extremely positive reviews upon its release, going on to be nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Picture), seven BAFTAs and one Golden Globe. From a 2020 perspective, its themes are no less relevant than they were 11 years ago, so I’ll certainly be revisiting it this weekend.
Neill Blomkamp was instantly tipped as a rising star in Hollywood, though has failed to recapture the success of District 9. I was a big fan of both Elysium and Chappie, but neither movie did well at the box office, with Chappie in particular bombing hard. That failure probably contributed to Neill Blomkamp’s Aliens sequel and his RoboCop Returns not going ahead.
He’s now working on Archon, which is about a cop possessed by a demon. It was due to shoot in March, though I imagine the COVID-19 restrictions have delayed it for the foreseeable future.
But tell us, do you plan on revisiting District 9 this weekend? Sound off down below and share your thoughts.