Harbinger Down (2015)

I heard this movie was created specifically because the practical effects guys wanted to showcase their work. What’s funny is that there is some CGI involved here, and it looks terrible, so kudos to the practical effects folks; their stuff looks amazing here. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie comes down to being a poor man’s version of John Carpenter’s The Thing. They toss out ideas from The Thing but never really incorporate them, and as a result, at times this movie feels more like Deep Rising. That’s not a good thing. Fun fact: I hate Deep Rising.

What happens? An Alaskan crab fisher takes on some grad students and a douche professor. The captain, a mighty sailing man, is Lance Henriksen, and one of the grad students is his granddaughter. The crew are a motley bunch, while the grad students are…grad students. Kinda nerdy but also kinda hot. The professor is full of himself and probably couldn’t make a radio out of a coconut. That’s ok though, because they’re dealing with ice anyway. The captain’s granddaughter finds a soviet moon lander in the ice and pulls it aboard. Microscopic mutated critters in the satellite come to life, grab all the living tissue they can to help them build, and kill the crew off one by one. Also, there’s a Russian spy.  There is no Gilligan.

What kills it? It wants too much, tossing out possible plotlines left and right but never capitalizing. Also, while the 3 minority actors aren’t the first person to die…they’re the next 3. I always pay attention to this in my horror movies. There’s also a pseudo-romance blossoming that never actually blossoms, while the critter can supposedly turn into people but only seems to give it a try once in the film and badly at that.

Lance Henriksen is awesome though; watch it for him and the effects, but that’s pretty much it.

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