New Life (2023) Review- Horror Thriller With A Twist

New Life (2023) Review- Horror Thriller With A Twist

New Life, directed by John Rosman in his directorial debut, is about two women: one on the run and one hunting her down. The beginnings of this film start out much like any other cat and mouse type thriller. What is unique though is the why isn't revealed to us right away. Throughout the film, pieces of the puzzle become clear and we understand why Jessica needs to be brought in. 

What stands out in this film are the performances of our main characters. Jessica, played by Hayley Erin, and Elsa Gray, played by Sonya Walger, deliver great performances. Elsa is a government contactor tasked with bringing Jessica in. She is also dealing with a life altering diagnosis that is the reason behind her being sent out into the field. Along with Jessica's escape from a black site after she's been taken due to an outbreak that she and her boyfriend encountered, they both are dealing with the prospect of living a new life, at no fault of their own. 

At about 40 minutes in, we get a clear picture of what's happening with Jessica and the people she's come into contact with along the way. Rosman keeps viewers in the dark and I found that to be a great way for the story to unfold.

But once we get into the third act, the film loses its footing. We spent a lot of time following our characters, getting flashbacks, and uncovering the pieces of the story and don't really get enough of the action and horror elements that this movie needed to elevate the plot and bring it all together cohesively. 

New Life is proof that Rosman is a thoughtful storyteller. The way the main characters paths are brought together with the outbreak as a backdrop to what I feel is the actual story of the film, is beautifully done. He puts a fresh spin on done before themes of governmental agencies doing secret experiments and "big brother" type activities for greed. But there is a lack of suspense and tension that I feel is needed for this film to be more impactful within the genre. 

New Life is available on VOD in the US and the UK. 


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