The movie reduces its fear factor to simple suspense that's not insignificant but is pretty insubstantial.
Those who have seen Alien will have a pretty good idea what's coming, at least to a point. Once things reach that point, however, all bets are off.
Here is a story that knows how to put the nihilism in the vast nothingness of space. If you're into that sort of thing.
Life has cool effects, real suspense and a sweet twist. It ain't rocket science, but it does what it does well -- even, one might say, with a kind of genius.
It's Alien for short attention spans, Arrival for non-pacifists, with some remnant of ambition toward something headier. On that count, it falls short, but as a final-girl structured horror film, it has plenty of imaginative moments.
Life... a taut, suspenseful thriller that's more enjoyable the less you think about it.
If you're looking for a competent Alien knock-off or just a way to kill a couple hours, you could do far worse.
We, too, are just collections of cells, and Espinosa plays our nervous system like a flamenco guitar in concert with head-pounding drums and nauseous trombones.
Life is pretty lifeless.