Europa Report, a Blair Witch-style found-footage film with a high budget feel, opened Friday night in theaters.
The indie film set on Jupiter’s moon Europa has already been streaming since June 27 to build interest. But if you hit that button to watch the trailer, I think you’ll see why Europa Report deserved a theater release.
Europa is the smallest of Jupiter’s classic four moons. And it’s the one most likely to host hidden water and therefore life.
Despite being a small indie production, Europa Report received a lot of help from both NASA and private space firms. The film’s New York premiere actually took place at the American Museum of Natural History.
Space reporter Miriam Kramer noted that screenwriter Philip Gelatt revealed there that he’d spent a lot of time working with real scientists to create the world of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
And in fact there’s a great deal of genuine footage used in the film.
Discovery noted that the launch you see in the trailer is real footage of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V-551 rocket. Both NASA Galileo and NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory footage are also used.
Director Sebastián Cordero does use CGI where he has to. But he doesn’t lean on it as a crutch.
So don’t let the indie look and feel fool you. An io9 report said that Europa Report captured the heart-wrenching beauty of space: “[W]hen you finally behold the icy crags that crown the Europan seas, you’ll be as fueled by adrenaline as the characters.”
At the time of writing, the film is running 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’ tomatometer. That’s fairly fresh.
If you liked 2008’s Cloverfield, it looks like there’s a good chance you’ll like the Europa Report and its setting on Jupiter’s moon.