Encounter Trailer: Riz Ahmed Tries To Save His Sons From (Possibly Imaginary) Aliens

After giving one of the best performances of last year in one of the best movies of last year — namely, "Sound of Metal" — Riz Ahmed is returning to Amazon Prime Video for "Encounter." Directed and co-written by Michael Pearce, who last helmed the acclaimed psychological thriller, "Beast," starring Jessie Buckley, "Encounter" sees Ahmed playing a soldier who embarks on a "secret mission" with his two sons — in a world that may or may not be besieged by alien invaders.

Is it "The Tomorrow War?" Not quite. "Encounter" looks like more like a road-movie version of William Friedkin's "Bug." As Ahmed's character explains, "This isn't a roadtrip. It's a rescue mission." Cops aren't to be trusted (at least, not ones doing roadside stops at 3 a.m.), and what's with all those insects swarming the windshield?

Octavia Butler co-stars in "Encounter," which is coming your way next month. Check out the trailer below.

Encounter Trailer

Seeing a Humvee kick up dust across the desert and a guy named Ahmed flee an alien invasion with his two kids immediately brings to mind "Invasion," currently streaming on Apple TV+. That show is long on humans and short on aliens; it takes the idea that we are not alone in the world and uses it as a point of contrast for characters who are emotionally isolated (and later, physically isolated, as they wander around various ghost-town settings).

Reviews for "Invasion" have been lackluster, and I've started to lose patience with the show myself, so if you're looking for more thrills in your next streaming alien invasion thriller, you might find it in "Encounter." The movie seems to have a body-snatching component, with extraterrestrial organisms of some sort invading people's eyes and bodies and making their skin literally crawl. Then again, maybe it's all just in the head of our protagonist.

The official synopsis for "Encounter," by way of Amazon, explains that Ahmed's character is facing "an unhuman threat." Dictionary.com assures me that "unhuman" is a real word, even if my spellchecker doesn't like it and my brain wants to substitute "inhuman." The synopsis:

A decorated Marine goes on a rescue mission to save his two young sons from an unhuman threat. As their journey takes them in increasingly dangerous directions, the boys will need to leave their childhoods behind.

In addition to Ahmed and Spencer, "Encounter" stars Rory Cochrane, Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada. The movie will have a theatrical release on December 3, 2021, followed by a streaming premiere on Amazon Prime Video on December 10, 2021.