Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 by Matt Donato
With shades of Annihilation, The Last Of Us, and The Ruins, Jaco Bouwer‘s Gaia is a welcome addition to the environmental horror canon. South Africa’s Tsitsikamma forest stages a warning from our universe’s mother; a scolding finger pointed towards humankind’s treatment of Earth. When Gaia bleeds, Gaia gets pissed. Tertius Kapp’s screenplay is contemplative horror that’s as substantially frustrated as it is enthrallingly tense. Creature elements emphasize costumed contortions, devastation is a colorful bouquet, and consequences are so righteously earned—and yet, we can still sympathize with opposing characters.
It’s never adversely preachy or obnoxiously intentioned, either. Bouwer succeeds in responsible exploitation that slithers roots under your skin with the creepiest of crawly sensations.