A dark, dirty, trippy, and twisted horror thriller in which nature and humans are both symbiotic and brutal enemies. Gaia is a captivating adventure that plunges into the heart of darkness. Directed by Jaco Bouwer and driven by a groundwelling score by Pierre-Henri Wicomb, Gaia grabs you by its tentacles and pulls you close, seldom yielding.
Also with great performances by Monique Rockman and Carel Nel, Gaia is easily becoming a coveted cult classic for horror aficionados, though it can get a little too weird and psychedelic for the average moviegoer (myself included).
Bouwer arguably relies a little too much on the score – but knows how to use it to mask the film’s flaws – and doesn’t quite figure out how to use the terrifying creature design for terrifying results, but there’s a lot to like here .
This film was reviewed as part of the coverage of the SXSW Film Festival 2021.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise stated.