Lord of the Flies meets Alive in this gripping 90s-themed survival tale

The Nineties are back in fashion. As confirmation, here is Yellowjackets (Sky Atlantic), a drama that begins in 1996 and stars Juliette Lewis and Christina Ricci, two actresses as synonymous with that decade as bootcut jeans.

It’s a deliciously dark thriller, and features Ricci with a bubble perm that makes her look like one of the Golden Girls. But the black comedy is mixed into a story of genuine horror. A plane carrying a girls’ football team crashes in the wilderness. What follows is a survival tale. In the words of one who made it out: “A bunch of my friends died and the rest of us starved and scavenged and prayed for 19 months until they finally found us.” And that’s putting quite a gloss on things.

There are shades of Lord of the Flies and Lost here, but the most direct comparison is with Alive, the 1993 film telling the true story of a Uruguayan rugby team that crashed in the Andes. You may remember what happened there: the survivors took the decision to eat the flesh of their dead friends. In Yellowjackets, they don’t wait for their friends to die, but hasten things along. Sugar and spice and all things nice, eh?

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