Sci-fi ‘District 9’ hits home

Transformation scene plays with emotions

When government agent Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) accidentally sprays himself in the face with a mysterious liquid while evicting the alien “prawns” from the slums of District 9, he’s unaware of the chain of events he has set into motion. But then the projectile vomiting of black fluid begins, his fingernails peel off and his teeth fall out of his head. It’s not until Wikus’ hand mutates into the alien claw of a prawn that the stark reality of the situation becomes clear: Wikus is becoming one of ”them.” The blood and guts of his physical transition from oppressor to oppressed is hard to watch, but it’s nothing when compared with the emotional toll it takes on his friends, family and mind.