Honestly, I don't think it'd be accurate to suggest that my overall disappointment with the film truly stemmed from the poor writing. It was abundantly clear that the film sought to be a visual piece and it was mostly its inconsistency in this regard that kept it from rising above those other shortcomings.
As I said, there were certain points at which the stylized aesthetic was effective and others at which it fell entirely flat. Some examples, such as the red liquid in a trough that you mentioned, were pleasant insofar as they might have looked cool on a projector screen in an art gallery or as atmospheric eye candy in a music video. Others were basic and uninteresting, such as the simple plays with lighting that anybody with a studio could achieve or the collection of entirely mundane urban shots overlaid in editing to create a sort of cheesy multi-exposure with Johansson's face emerging through the centre. Then there were the recurring void scenes over the course of which the majority demonstrated no greater directorial creativity than one would expect as a minimum on the set of any commercial, but I've already gone over that. The juxtaposition of the black alien and Johansson in her human form within the last of these scenes is worth singling out as particularly hackneyed, though, as if the viewer really needed such heavy-handed imagery rammed down their throats like some rehash of the Jon Snow origins revelation.
Basically put, it became clear throughout my viewing that I was seeing the work of an artist better suited to music videos and advertising and that he simply didn't have the material there to warrant an entire feature.