When I was a teenager, I used to think I was a witch. I would attempt to cast spells with my friends like the ladies of The Craft, put blood in drinks including milk, and thought I was possessed by a demon when we used the Ouija board.
Surprisingly, I did not have a troubled childhood.
Anyway, as a teenager, I tried to assimilate to a Wicca identity, inspired by witches in popular culture and frequented many spiritualist shop to emulate everything I had seen. That part of me is still there: I carry crystals, douse myself in oils, and keep the mantra of “come back in threefold.” The extremities of what I was into, however, have generally dissipated.
My point is, when you are a youngster, navigating the world of personal distinction is tricky and you may slip into peculiar roles in order to establish yourself. Tackling the bizarre world of pubescent discovery, debut director Alex Taylor has crafted an unusual, compelling, and visually haunting depiction of small town youth.
Spaceship revolves around Lucidia, a cyber-goth, who is struggling to find herself in her small village town. With the loss of her mother still on her mind, and her father Gabriel growing somewhat distant, she fakes her own alien abduction and disappears from everyone she knows. Desperate to find her, Gabriel embarks on a journey through the town whilst her friends explore their own identities.
The core of the movie flows more powerfully after you’ve watched the film, rather than during. There are times where visuals are placed into the film instead of narrative or dialogue which drags down the pacing of the film. Strange yet haunting moments set a somewhat dull tone as you try to uncover the themes and elements presented. There are moments with oddities that have no use within the grander scope of the narrative and, when they appear on screen, you’ll be exasperated.
This is part of what makes Spaceship so interesting because when the conclusion hits, you’ll find sense within this as the theme emerges, deep within you and, what’s more, it’ll resonate with part of you long forgotten. Crafting such a teenage exploration within a UV addled, punk-goth world, Taylor emerges brilliant in his tackling of slow-burning emotion and conflicted identity. Between BDSM & Vampires, the crux of Spaceship is to show college youth in an open honestly, focusing on the fringe groups who may defer from the norm. Acted greatly by the likes of Tallulah Haddon and Laura Peake, Spaceship is a somewhat messy yet brilliant look at teenage meaning.
You could very well miss what is presented in Spaceship and it will not appeal to all – it’s a coming of age story with literal bite that has zero shame in showcasing exactly what it is. For many, that’s brilliant and, for me, I feel disappointed that I didn’t open myself entirely to Taylor’s work upon first watch. However, Spaceship is a special breed, an effective indie drama with a soulful peculiarity that will match whatever long lost version of you. An excellent spiritual adventure.
Spaceship is out 19th May!