Film #5: HARBINGER DOWN
2 out of 5 stars
Much has been said of the crowd-funded HARBINGER DOWN. What I’ll say is that it’s a perfectly serviceable creature flick as long as you go in understanding that it’s “John Carpenter’s THE THING on a boat.” The FX – by writer/director, Alec Gillis & and his Amalgamated Dynamics cohort, Tom Woodruff, Jr – are exactly what you’d expect coming from people who’ve won their fair share of Academy Awards. The acting is ok with some standouts: the always reliable Lance Henrikson and the very menacing Milla Bjorn being at the top of the list. But the script… oi! While HARBINGER DOWN never denies what it is (a creature flick that copies THE THING beat for beat), it also never does anything new with the narrative. I mean, there are literally no surprises in the film. I do appreciate that the filmmakers really go out of its way to try and replicate the Rob Bottin FX from Carpenter’s original, but Film without Story is pointless. But it’s all here… From the squiggly noodle tentacles to the human faces embedded into the beast’s flesh, you can almost go down a checklist. There’s even a pretty obvious homage to the ALIEN Queen (a series of films ADI worked extensively on) in there. So, in the end, HARBINGER DOWN is a below average creature flick that is buoyed by it having some journeyman FX guys as its filmmakers. Easily a flick you can put on and do something else to, but keep the remote handy. You won’t want to miss those FX shots.