Film Review: Gaia

rescued or captured?

In ancient times, man used to worship the gods of nature. In tune with and wholly dependent on the natural world around them, they would give sacrifices to these elemental forces which their tenuous existence depended on. Today, these figures have been almost entirely replaced and forgotten, but many of the old ways still remain in quitter corners of the world. In Gaia, Mother Nature has had enough and is bent on revenge.

Two South African forestry workers, Gabi (Monique Rockman) and Winston (Anthony Oseyemi), are travelling downriver when their drone goes missing. Upon heading inland to recover it, she’s injured and stranded, only to be rescued by an off-the-grid survivalist (Carel Nel) and his son (Alex van Dyk). Initially grateful, her relief soon turns to horror when a strange creature attacks their cabin. Gabi begins to realise that something very strange is going on.

Gaia is a fascinating eco-horror which focusses on the dangers of upsetting Mother Earth. While Jaco Bouwer’s film is hardly subtle in its message, the decision to delve into the dark heart of naturism gives it an unusually spiritualistic bent. As a survivalist thriller, it’s brimming with clever ideas and innovative touches, but it’s the world that Gaia conjures up which is its strength. Making it an eerie and highly memorable experience.

Gaia is released digitally by Altitude on 27 September.   

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