On the surface, Netflix's latest sci-fi thriller Extinction is exactly the type of genre movie many claim Hollywood doesn't make anymore. Instead of taking inspiration from some pre-existing intellectual property, like an acclaimed comic book, forgotten television series, or bestselling novel, it's an original science-fiction story. It stars two charming actors, Michael Peña and Lizzy Caplan, and was helmed by an exciting, emerging filmmaker, Australian director Ben Young, who made 2016's horror skin-crawler Hounds of Love. Sounds fun, right? There's only one problem: Extinction is a drag to actually watch.
Originally set for a January release via Universal earlier this year, Extinction was offloaded to Netflix this February in a move not dissimilar to other lackluster streaming projects like Spectral and The Cloverfield Paradox. While it's hard to be too hopeful about many of these releases Netflix picks up, Extinction had a slick trailer, released this month, that did an effective job of selling the movie's premise: Peter (Peña) has visions about the end of the world, specifically a mass alien invasion, that may or may not come true in the immediate future. Will he be able to protect his wife Alice (Caplan) and their two adorable children? Again, sounds like it could be cool, right?