Discovering life on Mars would be the crowning achievement in any scientist’s career, so when a team on the International Space Station receives a care package of samples from the red planet, they can’t wait to begin their experiments. To their surprise, they discover there was once life on Mars after all, and they unleash a creature that evolves at an accelerated pace that has its eyes on the planet below them.

Having never heard of this movie until it showed up on my doorstep, I had no knowledge of what I was sitting down to watch other than that it had some decent star power and was set in space. The first act does a good job of building the tension and offers some decent character development in a genre that usually jumps straight into the gore and never thinks twice about who’s getting snuffed out by the monster. What frustrated me most is that, in the real world, our best and brightest become astronauts, but this crew seemed to leave their common sense back on Earth given their continual bone-headed decisions that leave them fighting for their lives. UHD Blu-ray launched, I wasn’t sure if it would catch on, but if the studios keep releasing films that look like this, the future is bright for the format. It was shot with a mix of Arri Alexa cameras and was finished at 3.2K. The result is a video encode that’s razor-sharp and teems with detail. Colors don’t jump off the screen given the cooler color grading done in post-production, but shots of the Earth from space are mesmerizing, and some of the HDR effects are to die for, especially exterior shots of the Space Station.

Not to be outshined is a fabulous Dolby Atmos track that sports effective use of the overhead speakers. The steering through the soundstage is precise and extremely engaging and lifelike. When an airlock is opened, air whooshes through the room, and you get the illusion of being sucked out toward space—definitely a demo-worthy moment!

The supplements are housed on the Blu-ray Disc and contain some deleted scenes, three making-of featurettes inclusive of cast interviews, a look at the creature’s biology with the possibility of there being life on Mars or even other planets, and how all of the different elements of the story come together. Finishing things off are some “Astronaut Diaries,” trailers from other Sony titles, and a UV Digital Copy of the film.

Studio: Sony, 2017
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos / True HD 7.1 core
Length: 104 mins.
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds