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Harbinger Down

posted Dec 29, 2015, 9:58 PM by Vu Nguyen

If you were wondering about all these films we're reviewing, especially because they are not sold in stores, it is because sometime we believe in a film so much we decide to put money behind it and help bring the filmmaker's vision to screen.

The latest film we help Kickstart is Harbinger Down, a sci-fi monster film by Alec Gillis. What set this film apart from all modern movie is that the filmmakers and producers were determined to do the entire film using practical effects. Everything in the film were created by StudioADI using animatronics, prosthetic makeup, miniature effects and even stop motion.

Unfortunately, that's the only really cool thing about the movie; Harbinger Down, as a standard horror film, just wasn't very good... despite starring lead actor Lance Henriksen (from Alien and Millennium television series), as boat captain Graff. Camille Balsamo, who co-starred as Graff's daughter in the film, was just too perfect-looking in the film, and her acting was just too melodramatic. I guess she was just too pretty for me to believe her to be a scientist.

The other big problem with the film is that it took forever to get the film going. It felt like maybe it took the film nearly 20 minutes to find the monster in the ice. It's not for another 25 minutes do we see the first death. Look, if you are going to make a monster film, just maybe cut all the backstory and introduce the threat and death right away.

The film also felt eerie similar to John Carpenter's The Thing, both in story and the monster. There's a reason for this, the team (ADI) behind the monster was originally hired by Universal Studio to create the effects for the 2011 The Thing prequel. Since the studio made the wrong decision to go the computer generated imagery route, ADI was able save and later re-use their monster in Harbinger Down.

Harbinger Down is not a great film, but we are glad to be part of bringing the film to Bluray. Our copy did not contain subtitles or audio commentaries, so the release is pretty bare-bones. If you don't mind a DVD-only copy, the DVD can be purchased on Amazon. If you prefer to stream, Harbinger Down is available on Netflix.

Harbinger Down: Camille Balsamo and Lance Henriksen