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‘Oxygen’ Trailer: Alexandre Aja, Melanie Laurent Deliver Cerebral Sci-Fi Horror for Netflix

The French horror favorite returns with a claustrophobic Netflix thriller.

Melanie Laurent in "Oxygen"

“Oxygen”

Netflix/Screenshot

Netflix has released an enticing official trailer for “Oxygen,” the latest thriller from French horror filmmaker Alexandre Aja. The science-fiction drama stars Cesar Award winner Mélanie Laurent as a scientist who wakes up to find herself trapped in a cryogenic chamber with no idea how she got there or who she is. The movie was previously titled “O2,” but Netflix has gone with the more approachable title “Oxygen” for the release next month.

Here’s the official synopsis from the streamer: “‘Oxygen’ is a French survival thriller directed by Alexandre Aja. The film tells the story of a young woman (Mélanie Laurent), who wakes up in a cryogenic pod. She doesn’t remember who she is or how she ended up there. As she’s running out of oxygen, she must rebuild her memory to find a way out of her nightmare.”

Aja first rose to international prominence as a horror filmmaker in 2005 with the French slasher film “High Tension,” which caught the attention from Wes Craven, who then tapped Aja to helm the remake of Craven’s 1977 classic “The Hills Have Eyes.” Aja went on to direct “Piranha 3D,” another remake about killer piranhas; “Horns,” which starred Daniel Radcliffe as a man falsely accused of raping and killing his girlfriend; and most recently the box office hit “Crawl,” which was produced under Sam Raimi for Paramount.

Laurent first became known to international audiences from her leading role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds,” and later in Mike MIlls’ “Beginners” opposite Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor. An accomplished filmmaker in her own right, she has two features in pre-production. Her second feature, “Respire” (“Breathe”), screened at International Critics’ Week in Cannes to great acclaim. In 2015, she co-directed “Tomorrow,” which won the Cesar Award for Best Documentary.

If this trailer is any indication, “Oxygen” will certainly showcase Laurent’s acting abilities — it looks as if she carries the entire movie, save for the HAL-esque robotic voice running her pod. The concept of being stuck in one place will certainly strike a nerve after our pandemic year.

Netflix will release “Oxygen” internationally on May 12, 2021. Check out the gripping first trailer below.

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