Recently, I watched an obscure(ish) film titled, in full: The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume 1
The Osiris Child is a 2016 Australian film directed by Shane Abbess. Who has previously directed science-fiction films, Infini (2015) and Gabriel(2007). Neither of which was released to any kind of critical acclaim. The Osiris Child breaks this trend.
The Osiris Child takes place in the far future. We follow Lt. Kane Sommerville, working for terraforming conglomeration, EXOR. He defects after his daughter is left on the soon-to-be-eradicated planet. Part of the terraforming includes eradicating indigenous fauna. EXOR use the ‘monsters’ for this. A ‘clean’ way that preserves the planets environment.
A supposed dangerous virus breaks out in the work camps, and the decisions is made to exterminate the planets population by purposefully initiating a meltdown of one of the reactors to cover up the atrocities carried out there. In the commotion, the ‘monsters’ are released. All whilst Kane and his new companions search for his daughter.
The Osiris Child is a low-budget film, that much is clear.
The simple fact is that, Hollywood films have almost completely taken over the film industry. Something that is hugely detrimental to the creators and auteurs that do not have an infinite pit of cash behind them, as in Hollywood’s case. The Osiris Child is a B-movie, in the age when B-movies do not have a market to compete in. In a time when huge-budget superhero franchises, namely Marvel have a near-monopoly in the industry. But also separate franchises such as the Star Trek reboot, and Mad Max.
The Osiris Child is refreshing here, it is science fiction without silly money.
Whilst this is true, it rarely compromises in any area. The acting is fine. The CG effects are up to standard. The writing and narrative progression are perfectly adequate too.
What strikes me the most is the tone of the film; the semi-comedic value that runs throughout it. The Osiris Child never tries to take itself too seriously. This is evident in both the ‘monster’ design, and many of the situations the eccentric characters find themselves in. This intrinsically gives it character, the very thing many Hollywood cash grabs are painfully lacking in, with the ‘rinse repeat’ attitude they have. After all, if a film proposal has the potential to make money, the green light is – usually – given. That is all it comes down to, in simple terms.
Is It Actually Good?
Yes! I think it honestly is! Maybe it does not excel in every area, but what film truly does? You have to consider the amount of people who work on a film like The Osiris Child, especially in comparison to feature-length Hollywood films. There is no comparison – not in any area. Therefore, one would come to the understanding there is less room for movement, less room for every corner of creative intent to flow free. Right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
You might think the director is at the helm of all films. This isn’t strictly the case.
When writing this, and all my other writing, I have sole creative freedom. I can choose the words that form the sentences, and the sentences that form the paragraphs. I’m free to string them all together in any way I see fit – in my personal ‘best’ way. In independent film this is often the case too. The creative vision perhaps being split between only two people: director, and screenwriter.
In higher budget films, the opposite is often true. Think of the money. The hundreds of millions that go into the films. If that film fails, the money vanishes. Films like that need to make money. And, the way they go about securing this? Research. Polls. Think-tanks. Round table discussions. Endless speculation on trends and audience favour. In the midst of all this, little room can be left for individualistic creativity. Now it does exist, of course it does. But it is far too rare; which is a great shame.
Films like The Osiris Child, fill these holes in the industry. Letting us experience things in a different tone, in a different set of creative values. The likes of Hollywood should take note of this, of how something can be, without needing the Iron Bank behind it. And, this is important, because a world without Independent Film would be a terribly bleak one. We should rally behind them.
We should not solely save our viewing pleasure for the worldwide-cinema-release behemoths. There is an entire land of unseen film out there, just waiting!
Looking for Value and Meaning…
In the world of critics, and the discerning film viewer, we are always searching for meaning; in the script, in the cinematography, and the narrative – all aspects of a film that contribute to the whole. Yet, I believe this is a single-minded attitude towards spectatorship. Things don’t inherently require meaning… Is part of being a spectator not entertainment? Is that not one of the most basic fundamentals? Sure, there are things some of us might deem more important: the overarching message behind the film, and the lessons we take away from this. But it would be arrogant to believe all films have to convey these features.
Surely a film can succeed on its entertainment value alone.
The Osiris Child is pure entertainment, it contains little of anything else. And, that’s fine. That’s the very way it was intended – something which is absolutely clear to see.
You cannot compare it to films such as, Interstellar, Alien (franchise), Blade Runner, or Inception. Simply because it’s so different. Not because those films are worth less, and not because they are worth more. In the same sense, you wouldn’t compare Ernest Hemingway with James Patterson. They may be equally loved, but they are not the same.
So, love films like The Osiris Child. Love the creativity in it. Break out of the box, and support the directors and screenwriters that need support.
What do you think of films like these? Do we need more? Have you seen The Osiris Child, what did you think of it?
Thank you for reading, as always!
-Chris (If you enjoy what I do, please consider supporting me on Patreon)