Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Movie review: Harbinger Down

A group of grad students hopping a ride on the crabbing boat Harbinger get more than they bargained for when they find a distress beacon frozen in the Arctic ice. Hauling aboard a piece of Soviet space wreckage, all hands find they have been exposed to a deadly mutating organism experimented upon by the Soviet's.

Lance Henriksen (Graff), Matt Winston (Stephen), Camille Balsamo (Sadie), Giovonnie Samuels (Ronelle), Winston Francis (Big G), Milla Bjorn (Svet), Reid Collums (Bowman), Michael Estime (Dock).

Harbinger Down begins by jumping straight into the storyline and character introductions. We quickly find ourselves on a crabbing boat in the Arctic, finding a distress beacon frozen in  large chunk of ice, which is then hauled aboard the boat. The plot slows briefly as that sinks in before moving to the horror phase where a deadly organism able to take any shape, that enjoys feeding on humans, is released onto the boat. The rest is a typical horror flick with some BOO moments, a tidbit of drama, and some mild action.

Acting was mediocre with flashes of pretty good. Henriksen was in type here in another mutating alien flick. Balsamo was okay though she felt mildly out of place at times. Francis, Bjorn, Estime, and the rest of the crew did fairly well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were okay if mild. The bulk of the film takes place on a boat so the number of sets is obviously limited. CGI and effects were pretty good with only a few overly animated or proportionally awkward scenes. Action was decent with some nice scenes. Dialogue was okay but could have had a bit more energy and depth. Sound and soundtrack were okay.

When the last crab leg is cracked Harbinger Down reveals itself as a mid-level horror entry using a well worn storyline with a mild tweak or two. While the movie isn't bad, it isn't great, and struggles to create energy and impact. Sci-Fi horror fans looking for a quick fix may enjoy this one.

With plenty of sci-fi action, violence, disturbing images, and foul language this should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 1.2.16
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi horror, Monster Movies, Sci-Fi, Deep Sea Horror

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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