The Penal Colony of District 9

It is a nightmare right from Franz Kafka’s storybooks. But rather than wake up as a large crustacean insect, your metamorphosis is slower, yet much more terrifying.

Meet Multi-National United employee Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley). He can cheerfully tell you all about his new job promotion where he passes out eviction notices to the alien population called “Prawns” that inhabit the slums of District 9; however, he is currently too busy running away from the MNU, who want to auction Van De Merwe’s newfound-alien body parts to the highest bidder in biotechnological warfare.

As you can imagine, Wikus’s sunny disposition turns desperate when he finds himself transforming into one of the same alien creatures he evicts and when he finds out that his employer is out to profit from his misfortune. Sharlto Copley does such a brilliant job at conveying this, that you can’t help but feel sympathy for his character.

As absurd as it sounds to transform into a bug or into an alien, writer and director Neill Blomkamp has the same knack of storytelling as Kafka. His ghastly futuristic society is frightening, disturbing, but most of all, believable.

And as far as alien invasions go, this one would make Kafka proud.


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