Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Flix: Harbinger Down (2015)

Is this a triumph of Practical over Computer?  Today's Film is Harbinger Down, a 2015 Sci-Fi Action Film.  It was pushed and funded via Kickstarter as a pushback to the dramatic (over?)use of CG in Films.  To that end, Practical Effects Producer Alec Gillis- who worked with Stan Winston!- put together a Film with ZERO CG used to create its Monster.  The genesis of this goes back to 2011's The Thing (ugh) which had all of its Practical Effects (done so well in the Original) overwritten with CG.  While the Film has more issues than just iffy CG in it, the stuff they used was pretty bad.  Gillis' response make The Thing (1982).  Well, sort of.  In the Film's defense, the notes of The Thing are obvious, but not the only thing here.  The Story takes some twists and turns that make it stand out.  THIS is what an Homage looks like, Insidious: Chapter 2!  In this Film, a Crabbing Boat picks up some mysterious cargo, leading to all hell breaking loose!  With Lance Henriksen in charge, I'm sure that everything will be fine.  I won't SPOIL this one too much, so don't worry...
In 1982 (the same year The Thing came out), a Russian Ship crashes from Space into the Ocean.
In 2015, a Crabbing Vessel led by Henriksen takes on some new Crew- specifically his Daughter!- and later discovers the wreckage frozen in the water.
After the group foolishly messes with the debris, they unleash the thawed-out Russian.  There is another organism on board too and it is not friendly.
If The Thing comparisons weren't apt enough, here is Inuit Kurt Russell.  Just don't call him Eskimo Kurt Russell.
Without SPOILing too much, the creature causes some crazy havoc and the Ship gets far less hospitable.
With the harsh, Winter wind rushing and the Creature on the loose, who will survive?  To find out, watch the Film.
Not wholly-original, but good fun.  This one is obviously inspired by The Thing.  To that I say 'Yeah- so what?'  The Thing (1982) is based on a 1950s Movie that is itself based on a Short Story.  If it is good, do it.  In this case, it was really good.  The Characters are solid, the Writing is solid and the Atmosphere is quite good.  The Story takes some nice Twists and keeps flowing quite well.  The real strong point here is the great use of Practical Effects.  Gillis and company show off some of the tricks that they originally made for The Thing (2011).  It is nice to see them used in a Film that is far less pointless!  The group shows their experience- working on Films ranging from Mortal Kombat to Alien vs Predator to...Super Capers-  here in full force.  The whole thing is nice, entertaining stuff.  It isn't going to blow your minds with the originality of the Story, but it is a great testament to what talented people can do when they put their minds to something.  It is also notable for crediting all of their Kickstarter Backers (a trend of the future?)...
Next up, I continue to cover some newer Films.  When in doubt, go with Horror and/or Comedy.  Stay tuned...