Despite all its flaws, Dante 01 proved to be a solid science fiction movie with a distinctly European vibe. The first thing you need to know about it is that it looks great. The special effects are not top-notch but they’re quite believable. Secondly, the atmosphere is a familiar blend of mystery and horror, very much reminiscent of the original Alien. Although I also want to mention Pandorum, released just a year later.
As someone who loves movies set in space and let alone spaceships, I was hooked on Dante 01 pretty much immediately. Just give my dose of space escapism and I’m good. However, I must admit I expected more considering the fact that the director is none other than Marc Core. He became famous back in 1991 with his post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy Delicatessen. This is his first relatively mainstream movie after The City of Lost Children.
With messy storytelling and strange pacing, you will struggle to figure out what’s going on here. We have the same old tale of something nasty happening on board a space station. However, can you make a science fiction movie that’s truly original? A space station is a space station and people are people. So, if you’re not a fan of these types of movies, you might be better off just watching Alien: Resurrection or Dark City.
Welcome to the world of tomorrow! In deep space, orbiting a local planet is Dante 01, a special space station currently hosting several prisoners. The Neurinos corporation is running experiments onboard the station trying to help the most disturbed prisoners. And one of those experiments is about to go wrong, terribly wrong.
Leaning heavily on religion and mythology, Dante 01 tries to tell this complex tale of morality. And depending on your taste in movies its either a hit or a miss. You either love it or you hate it. I found it mildly amusing just because I’ve seen so many science fiction movies that I’ve been craving for something different. And oh boy is Dante 01 different. It’s too mysterious for its own good. I think it would be much better with a little bit more exposition.
You really need to be in the right mood for this type of dark and slightly confusing movie. Also, I wish the lighting was a bit better although I see why they used it. Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies check out Infini, Teleios, and Stranded.
Director: Marc Caro
Writers: Marc Caro, Pierre Bordage, David Martínez
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Linh Dan Pham, Simona Maicanescu, Dominique Pinon, Bruno Lochet
Fun Facts: Caro had four alternative endings but since the budget was cut to just $4 million, he had to improvise.