SOMNUS — What Gives?
Public Service Announcement: Guest blogger Lisa provides a friendly warning on a film released last year (2016). I haven’t watched the movie myself, but I suspect it might be a sleeper. Just suspecting you understand. Ahem. Should you decide not to watch this 2.9 rated cinematic wonder, save the 83 minutes you will have saved for some alternative spare-time fare — such as listening to the earlier seasons of Vic and Sade,
my personal favorite among a great many old-time radio programs 🙂
Editor-selected links for SOMNUS:
IMDb rates it 2.9 (on a scale from 1 to 42, I think)
Jennie Kermode reviews “Somnus.”
Und so, the inimitable Lisa Chieco is our guest blogger today, she is sharing her personal opinions of a middle-o’-the-night film selection right here and right now. I turn the keyboard over to Lisa.
Bad, bad, bad movie. It was 83 minutes and still had nothing cohesive to say! We begin in 1952 with a scene of a scientist boarding a train with his friend’s journal of work having been passed as a “terrible burden” to be kept for him after death.
Then we’re aboard this ridiculous space ship (only FOUR people on it and we see only three – hearing of the deaths of another – and seeing the hand of the woman’s death we are aware of which implicates the ships talking computer (not Hal, but Meryl) who seems more like a jealous, petulant and homicidally insane woman who is later reflected in a “colonist” on this penal station on an asteroid that is somehow slipped the memory of all Earth.
So, everybody dies – a couple of times. We get insanely subtle images that suggest we either have the Earth being destroyed by aliens for our dangerous weapons and the threat they impose to other worlds alongside the depiction of our visitation from said aliens around pyramid building times noted by the narration as a huge boon to humanity bringing us into the age of “technology.” Okay, but then, the same alien technology that lifted us out of our pathetic inadequacies is being used to kill all human life on Earth because we are a threat to those worlds with our scary weaponization, even though they use the same objet de space to kill all human life, while also sparing the planet proper. Yeah.
The entire movie is spent listening to one poor sod trying to trick Meryl (computer controller) into allowing him to disable her so they can return home. She kills him too. The skipper is spending most of his time in his virtual reality sleeper (Somnus??) where he sits on a pebbled beach and sees his dead wife walk towards him. Beside vague references to having taken part in a war he is amazed we survived without “blowing ourselves up” is tossed to us in a scanty early conversation with the ensign. This skipper really gives no consideration to anything happening until only he and the young ensign are left. Meryl has taken them away from home to this asteroid for which we have absolutely neither build up nor explanation before docking.
Well, after they are taken to this asteroid and the ensign is denied access, the skipper walks through this forest, fondling the leaves and droplets of water and suddenly AT ONCE we see a woman making squishy noises out of our view. He is hailed as being expected by this crazy woman with wild eyes who it appears is beating a man in the side, showing her very bad teeth while feeding bits of this man to a little ferocious alien reptile with big chompers – then the awakening of the man who Bad Teeth dispatches via a rock to the skull (including pinking brain matter) all witnessed by the skipper, whose quixotic response is to reassure her he is no threat and that everything is OK. WHAT??
So, somehow, that ends – and we see the only other living guy (our ensign who expressed in that one dialogue in the beginning of the movie that he is 20 and wants to fast track to deep space missions) leaving the ship and running around this forest habitat (that is also penal colony BTW) and then he is chased by something we never see. We see him waking up in a room strapped to a machine with some oil can type robot taking orders from a man with crap smeared all over his face and head. This man is clutching the notes from the book the guy back in 1952 had on the train and decides this guy in his chair is not in the book (now apparently a prophesy) so he must die. Then the robot begins to pump something blue into him and he dies. But not YET! He jumps up fighting into an immediate shift to the skipper, arm around this guy as they try to run up the hill and back to their ship (or wherever) and of course then this guy dies for good. Oh yeah – all this time the computer consciousness on the ship is really trying to bring together the remnants of humanity to restock the purged Earth.
So, Skipper sets off the reactor on board saying, “You can’t cheat destiny.” As if this is something we have known would happen since the earliest visitation. This is all going on in OUR heads – the movie is so poorly related it takes someone with my long winded and very convoluted intellect to thresh out the intended plot – I think. So, Skipper and ship blow up – and we are shown images of the skipper’s head in his EVA and his eyes are black hollows… then we see him in the core of the ship reaching down into water to rip the dead head off the “control” of the ship and the reactor again flashes but by this time the skipper has made it back to his little virtual (SOMNUS) bed and is back on the shore. Only this time he is washing up in his EVA and pulls his helmet off.
Then, his wife walks up to the shore and looks down. She picks up a rusted old EVA head piece. Then it’s over. Is that as infuriating to anyone else as it was to me? I know it says I’m disgusted but I’m really laughing at it as well. So, don’t waste your time and if you wanted to watch it maybe you won’t be angry for the spoilers because I had to look up lots of discussion on it (okay two) to make my own synopsis with review. There are still the images of jellyfish which I refuse to dignify with pondering.
👎👎Two thumbs down because that’s all I have.