Netflix acquired sci-fi thriller Extinction in February, taking the film off Universal’s hands just four days after surprise-streaming The Cloverfield Paradox (which they bought off Paramount). The streamer debuted the film’s first trailer Wednesday, giving us our first chance to discern whether Extinction is the stuff of the VOD bargain bin (a la The Cloverfield Paradox) or an under-the-radar gem whose studio was unwise to pawn it off.
Extinction stars Michael Peña (currently delighting audiences in Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Peter, a working-class father who experiences visions of humanity’s violent destruction at the hands of a faceless invading force. These nightmares adversely affect Peter’s relationship with his family, but when aliens begin a vicious, all-out assault on Earth, he and his wife Alice (Lizzy Caplan) find that Peter’s visions may prove crucial to humankind’s survival.
The trailer itself opens will a jarring combination of foreboding and monotony: Peña’s voiceover drones through his daily routine, while an overtly ominous score suggests that his cycle of “Work, home, family” is slowly rotating towards disaster. “What if something bad is coming?” he asks, a question swiftly answered by the explosive arrival of Earth’s alien conquerors. The trailer ends with a suspenseful scene reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, in which Peter and Alice’s daughter Megan (Lilly Aspell, Wonder Woman) comes face to … face (?) with one of the otherworldly invaders.
Ben Young (Hounds of Love) directs Extinction, his second feature film, from a script by Spenser Cohen (Stay) and Brad Kane (Black Sails, Fringe). Its cast also includes Mike Colter of Luke Cage fame, along with Israel Broussard (Happy Death Day), Emma Booth (Hounds of Love) and Erica Tremblay (Before I Fall).