Years back, small budget science fiction was king and finding small features like Deus was easy but those times have become a thing of the past and we now live in a world of franchise tentpoles and big budget Sci-Fi. There is something oddly refreshing about a film like Deus, despite its obvious limitations. Telling the story of a crew of a spaceship flying towards a mysterious sphere out in deep space that mysteriously appeared one day without warning, Deus is a quiet contemplative film that takes its time and features a solid performance by lead actress Claudia Black. The only problem, besides the budget, is the fact that Deus steals its plot from so many other films its hard to keep track.
While it is nice to see an independent film get a legitimate theatrical release, the fact that Deus feels like a mixture of Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, Mission to Mars and Event Horizon mixed together makes this seem entirely less original than it wants to feel. In fact the entire 2nd act feels like an homage to Boyle’s under sung feature all down to the tone altering twist in that films 3rd act. What helps propel the story here however is director Steve Stone’s big brother directing style where every hallway is surveilled by camera’s and most shots feel almost like a documentary film with invasive close ups. Its here that Stone uses the films lack of budget to his advantage and while its hard to praise the story itself or the script which has more than a few unfortunate dialogue choices, its an admirable attempt at returning to independent intelligent science fiction and while it doesn’t quite work, its an admirable attempt.