The fantastic thriller by Carrie Belessa is the second full-length work of the director. Religion, mysticism and science are intricately intertwined in “Immanence”.
What is the movie “Immanence” about
Almost the entire action of the film takes place on a small yacht, equipped as an observation post for a meteorite that fell in the Bermuda Triangle. A group of radio astronomers believe they are dealing with aliens, highly evolved beings. But the owner of the yacht believes that this fall is somehow connected with God.
The heroes of the picture, consisting of six people, find themselves cut off from the mainland, drifting in the middle of the ocean. And it is there that strange things begin to happen, for which there is no scientific definition, not even a religious one.
First, a yacht is discovered nearby, almost identical to their own, and then a red-eyed stranger (actor Jamie McShane) appears who promises people salvation under certain conditions.
The appearance of a man with a red eye, who predicts the future and sows death among the characters, turns the heroes’ perception of reality upside down. According to him, in order to survive, you need to sacrifice one person – those who are committed to their faith.
Meaning of the movie “Immanence”
One of the main characters, John, believes in the divine essence of things and the signs sent by God. It is he who first pronounces the word “immanence” – a manifestation of the divine presence in the earthly world. The role of Jonah was played by American actor Michael Beach, best known for the TV series The 100.
Religious Jonah is opposed by the astrophysicist Naomi – a woman who renounced her faith and wears a cross only at the insistence of her Presbyterian mother, and hides it in her pocket the rest of the time.
When the ship’s crew falls under the influence of evil forces and faces danger, it is John, who is strong in his religious beliefs, who helps everyone to come to their senses and prevent something irreparable from happening.
In the end, when, according to the prophecy of a stranger, not everyone will survive, it is John and Naomi who will be saved, as the closest to faith.
The narrative of the film leads to the fact that there are Higher Powers and you only need to believe in them. And who they will be, good or evil – it does not matter. After all, all the same, salvation awaits only those who are brave, honest and sincere.
Characteristics of heroes
The role of Naomi was played by the director’s wife, Summer Belessa. Naomi is different from the rest of the team of scientists, keeping aloof from active research, she finds a common language with Jonah on religious grounds, an invisible bond forms between them.
John himself, who in the past survived death and a miraculous return from the dead, is grateful to God for his salvation and calls on the rest of the crew to non-interference in his deeds on earth.
When viewing the tape, you can see how the scientific part of the crew, led by Professor Roman (Anthony Ruivivar), is skeptical of Jonah’s reasoning. Almost all the characters show their ignorance on the topic of religion and theology.
Suzu (actress Assenet del Toro) and Harper (Keisha Pilevich) are busy tracking the meteorite, laughing and having fun. And the first ones become victims. Just like the cowardly Roman, who planned to kill Jonah so as not to stay on the yacht.
There are several biblical references in Immanence. She is most often quoted by John, who is a Pentecostal Protestant. Thus, the appeared pig is declared a demon (Jesus casts out demons into a herd of pigs), and the fish boiled in water is a harbinger of the coming of God (the fish is a symbol of Christ). And even the fallen meteorite, followed by radio astronomers, turns out to be nothing more than the fallen angel Lucifer.
In the film, the names of the characters are of particular importance. Jonah is a form of the biblical Jonah, an Old Testament prophet swallowed by a whale. And Naomi is a form of the name Naomi. In one of the dialogues, Jonah draws attention to the names of two other girls (Suzu and Harper) and asks where names such as Mary and Sarah have gone. It is no coincidence that he named them precisely – in the Bible, women Mary and Sarah play large and important roles for all mankind.
In addition to the biblical ones, there is another reference to the franchise about the alien monster Alien. Looking at Harper absorbed in work, Davis notices that she looks like Bishop’s android from the movie of the same name.
For an ordinary viewer, the film may seem somewhat boring: most of the running time is occupied by the characters’ dialogues about physical and divine phenomena. By the end, the picture becomes more dynamic and intriguing, and also leaves some questions regarding Masonic signs in the credits.
The first minutes of the film are full of religious images. A fake exorcism scam is exposed, Naomi’s extremely devout mother lectures her about Jesus, and on the way to the boat, Naomi removes the cross from her neck and stuffs it into her purse. Therefore, one should not be surprised when a person with a biblical name, it turns out, sees in this the hand of God or Satan, and not aliens.
If Bellessa and Oram slowed down a bit, Immanence could be a pretty decent movie. There are some creepy moments in the movie, like when they explore an empty version of their own boat…
There are also a few moments that reminded me of Horizon Horizon, a film that drew a much better line between scientific and religious horror, and Dark of the Moon , an earlier space religious horror film.
If you don’t mind being “hit in the head” by the film’s message, or if you enjoy such open sermons, you may find “Immanence” amusing. But I want horror movies to be scary, with whatever message is written into the plot. In this case, the plot is secondary in relation to the message, and fear is not enough.