Species: The Awakening

Species: The Awakening

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“Species: The Awakening” wraps up a franchise that began as a theatrical blockbuster, drifted into direct-to-video territory with the third installment, and concludes with a made-for-TV movie. This fourth entry in the series is undoubtedly the weakest, though not by much compared to its immediate predecessors. Yet, even with their glaring flaws, there’s something about the “Species” films that keeps you watching, no matter how bad they get.

In “Species: The Awakening”, the story centers on Miranda, a young woman living a seemingly normal life until she learns that she’s a genetically engineered human-alien hybrid. Her adoptive uncle, Tom, reveals her true origin and seeks to find the scientist who created her, hoping to unlock the secrets of her existence. The journey takes them to Mexico, where they encounter new threats from rogue hybrids and confront dangerous experiments that could lead to the resurgence of the alien species. As Miranda grapples with her dual nature, she must decide whether to embrace her alien instincts or fight to retain her humanity while confronting those who would exploit her for their own ends.

True to tradition, the role of Miranda is filled by a blonde model willing to strip down for the camera. Helena Mattsson, who’s certainly easy on the eyes, surprisingly holds off on the expected gratuitous nudity until about an hour into this 103-minute film. Typically, these franchises lean into sleaze as they progress, but “Species” bucks the trend by scaling back the nudity with each installment.

Helena Mattsson in Species: The Awakening

The majority of the action unfolds in Mexico, lending a unique vibe that distinguishes this movie from the others in the series. However, the film carries a TV-like quality, punctuated by periodic fade-to-black moments for the commercial breaks. Adding to the low-budget feel is the absence of any familiar faces in the cast. This movie was made in 2007—couldn’t they have at least sprung for a Michael Madsen cameo?

Unlike the earlier films, which featured custom-built sets, much of “Species: The Awakening” appears to be shot on generic sound stages. The strip club, abandoned factory, and remote warehouse all have a bland, recycled quality. It seems most of the budget went into makeup effects, yet even those lack the intricate, fantastical designs that made Sil and Eve so striking in the first two movies.

When two aliens battle in the movie’s finale, the scene feels like something out of an episode of “Power Rangers” or the 90s live-action version of “The Guyver.” Although the dim lighting does a decent job of obscuring the obvious latex suits, the fight never truly convinces you that these are human-alien hybrids locked in combat. The result is more like watching actors in rubber costumes, which drains the scene of any real intensity or suspense.

As I mentioned earlier, “Species: The Awakening” is a watchable movie. It doesn’t drag you down into the kind of tedious runtime that makes you constantly glance at your watch. Yet, it’s also instantly forgettable, with nothing that really stands out. I can easily recall the plots and key moments from the previous three films, but for this one, I had to rewatch parts of it to refresh my memory before writing this review—I could barely remember a thing.

“Species: The Awakening” is the kind of movie that’s best left playing in the background while you scroll through your phone or catch up on other tasks. It’s surprising that Netflix hasn’t picked this one up, given how well it suits the platform’s binge-friendly nature. You can half-watch it without missing much, and that’s not exactly a selling point for quality cinema.

Helena Mattsson nude in Species: The Awakening

Species: The Awakening poster
Species: The Awakening poster
Species: The Awakening
  • Year:
  • Director:
    • Nick Lyon
  • Cast:
    • Helena Mattsson
    • Ben Cross
    • Marlene Favela
  • Genres:
    Action, Adventure, Horror
  • Running time:


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