We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Films often impart important life lessons in the guise of entertainment. For instance, thanks to Oliver Stone’s “The Hand” from 1981, I will never EVER stick my own hand out of a window while driving in a car, lest it ends up being sliced off and skedaddles away in order to commit acts of great evil.
But one fairly consistent cinematic rule of thumb, especially in horror and sci-fi movies that range from 1931’s “Frankenstein” to last year’s “Ex Machina,” is this: Do not be tempted to play God and create an artificial, human-like being. Such incidents of hubris almost never turn out well. Stick with imaginary friends if you must, although they sometimes turn out badly, too (i.e. “Drop Dead Fred”).
Along comes “Morgan” to add to the chorus of misguided scientists who have proclaimed a variation on “It’s alive!” over the years. This cautionary thriller about the dangers of bioengineering doubles as a kind of a passing of the torch (not carried by angry villagers) between directors with shared DNA. That would be Luke Scott, making his feature debut, and father Ridley, who acts as producer. Clearly, this son, who was a second unit director on Dad’s "The Martian" and “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” has paid attention to the old man’s output over the years since “Morgan” is littered with obvious nods.
But it makes sense, considering that Sir Ridley’s “Alien” remains one of the most influential examples of big-screen sci-fi spookiness ever made and even features a devious fake human in the form of Ian Holm’s android Ash. In addition, “Morgan” concludes with a very physical face-off between two strong females not unlike the one between Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and the alien queen, while also boasting a commendably diverse cast, much like such Scott productions as “The Martian” and TV’s “The Good Wife.”