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The Sci-Fi Thriller Leaving Fans Breathless On Netflix

Imagine waking up with no idea who or where you are, hooked up to a million tubes, inside a cramped, coffin-sized space from which there is seemingly no escape. Now imagine that as you're there, a ticker showing the amount of oxygen left in the space you inhabit is slowly going down, reaching ever closer to zero. Horror fans who find that terrifying may — or may not, depending on how terrified they are — want to check out Netflix's newest original film, "Oxygen." Directed by Alexandre Aja ("The Hills Have Eyes," & "Crawl"), the movie centers almost entirely on Elizabeth Hansen (Mélanie Laurent) in her cramped cryo chamber, as she interacts with the Siri-like M.I.L.O. interface (Clive Standen) in an attempt to get out.

Aja has a good track record for making horror-filled films, but this is one of the director and producer's first psychological thrillers, introducing non-violent ways to freak out the audience. With the reception we've seen so far, it seems like it's successfully done exactly that.

Oxygen is taking everyone's breath away

Although it may be a bit too intense for those with claustrophobia, most critics and general audiences who've seen "Oxygen" are loving it. The film, which released May 12, is sitting at #5 on Netflix's Top 10 most popular movies as of May 13, behind May 7's "Monster" at #4 and the wildly popular "Mitchells vs. the Machines" still sitting at #1 since its April 30 release. 

The movie currently enjoys an impressive 94% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with 78% of audiences agreeing, though both scores are subject to change as more viewers and critics weigh in. Among the elements most praised are the tense setting, as well as Laurent's performance as the only major character; others called its ending disappointing and its found fault in its reliance on a few jump scares. In a review for Third Coast Review, Steven Prokopy writes, "'Oxygen' goes from being a story of survival to one of identity, and it's due entirely to Laurent's layered, perfect performance." 

"Oxygen" is now available to stream exclusively on Netflix.