Tagline: Fear. Sacrifice. Contact.
Release Date: June 27th, 2013 | Runtime: 1 hr 30 min | Rating: 4 out of 5
Europa Report Review
Europa Report is an odd movie. A mockumentary style film that sets itself apart from others in the found-footage class simply by virtue of it’s setting. While the budget seemed decent enough, and the actors did a good job in their various roles, it’s also not a movie that stands out in one’s memory for anything in particular. It’s enjoyable, but forgettable, and the scare factor is very, very low. Which, of course, means it was a perfect pick when my kiddo (8) wanted to watch a ‘scary’ movie with Mommy. She had the requirements of ‘not much blood and guts’, so an actual horror movie was out of the equation. This was pretty much the only thing on Netflix that fit the requirements as I remembered it.
While Sharlto Copley (District 9) is perhaps the best known of the actors, all of them but one have been in recognizable movies (to me, at least). The one that I instantly recognized with Embeth Davidtz (Dr. Unger) from her role as Miss Honey in Matilda. The woman has been in a lot of movies that I like, and some that I love (including Thir13en Ghosts), but for me she will always be Miss Honey. Michael Nyqvist (Andrei Blok), known for his roles in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, John Wick, and more, was the most likable character in Europa Report. (Side note: Nyqvist passed away June 27th, 2017, though we will continue to see him in a few new movies that are in post production.)
Like most found footage style movies, Europa Report is not big on showing you the big bad or the actual action for the majority of the film. Most of that stuff happens off camera, with the characters reacting to it. With this film we’re treated to light effects, suddenly jolts, and spiking radiation levels, and of course, deaths that we never really witness. This isn’t a film that depends on shocking images or pulse-pounding action to hold you. Even when you finally do get to see the alien, it’s not scary. Its actually almost absurdly beautiful. It’s also (for those of you that get motion sickness) low on the shaky-cam stuff, as most of the views come from fixed cameras. There’s a few jolts, but nothing major.
Overall, Europa Report does a solid job at being a quietly entertaining movie. The dialogue is believable. The emotional scenes are not overdone. It’s fairly easy to lose yourself in what’s happening. And – the importance of this cannot be overstated – it kept my kid’s attention. She was contentedly curled up against me for most of the movie. There were a few times I had to pause the film to answer her questions, but overall it was a very nice family viewing experience.
Buy Link: Amazon
Miss L’s 2 cents (as transcribed by the resident adult):
I liked Europa Report. I would give it four stars. I didn’t like it as much as Jaws though. What I liked most was that it wasn’t very scary, even when we saw the alien at the end. I also liked that it was set in space. I think I would maybe want to watch more movies like this set in space. (But, even though mommy really liked how Europa looked when they were flying over it, I didn’t. Mommy looked offended when I told her this. I reminded her that we can have different opinions.)