This Jennifer Lawrence movie should have been a horror film

This Jennifer Lawrence movie should have been a horror film

An old Jennifer Lawrence movie has come back into the public eye, and it’s clear that this sci-fi adventure should have been a horror movie.

Every once in a while, the 2016 Jennifer Lawrence movie, Passengers, recirculates around social media. Everyone always asks the same thing: why the heck does this movie insist on being a romance? On paper, it had all the elements. A man and a woman stuck in space together fall in love after their sleeping pods break while they’re being transferred to another planet.

However, there’s one glaringly obvious flaw in this concept: Jim (Chris Pratt) purposefully wakes up Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), because he’s lonely. His pod broke, leaving him the sole member of a huge spaceship, where he will grow old and die before it reaches their destination.

After falling in love with Aurora’s sleeping figure (a literal sleeping beauty…get it?!), he makes the conscious decision to secretly wake her up so they can be together, and he can have another person to interact with. When you look at it like that, any notion of romance is sucked out of the film, hurdled straight into the vacuum of space.

Passengers doesn’t work as a romance

One clip in particular has been making the rounds recently, and it’s a perfect summary of just how creepy Passengers actually is. The clip in question follows Aurora’s horrified discovery of Jim’s plot, and shows a montage of him harassing her as she attempts to live life away from him on the ship.

She can’t get away from him at all — he physically won’t let her, even if it means talking to her over the ship’s announcement system. (You can watch the clip for yourself below.)

Now, there might not be any glaring issues outside of Passengers aside from this, other than the fact that the sci-fi is, generally speaking, a little boring and hindered by its own creepiness. All this means that the problem could have been avoided altogether if the creatives had made the decision not to cover it up, but to lean into it.

A horror movie twist would have been perfect for Passengers

If the movie had started off the same — a space-set drama with a moral conundrum — and then transitioned into Aurora’s point of view and taken a horror movie-style turn, that would have heightened the entire concept into something much more effective.


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Or, alternatively, the movie could have began with Aurora waking up. A sci-fi that turns into a creepy, haunting stalker-mystery would have been wholly original, and audiences wouldn’t have had to worry about any confusing supposed romance.

Clearly, other viewers agree that Passengers missed the mark. One X user said of the clip: “Would love it if a woman remade this movie from Jennifer Lawrence’s perspective.”

Another added: “Being trapped in space in a floating tin can with a man who won’t leave me alone sounds like a horror movie to me.” A third wrote: “Truly disturbing depiction of assault and how a pathetic stalkerish man who’s going through something will bring a woman down with him by crossing her boundaries, all whilst making himself out to be the victim.”

While it’s unlikely history will ever be rewritten for Passengers, there’s a lesson to be learned here. If you’re ever going to make a sci-fi movie about a man who prematurely wakes up a fellow female passenger, effectively killing her…make it a horror.

Passengers is currently available to stream on Starz. For more, check out our guide to all the new movies to watch this month, and all the new movies you can catch on streaming.

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