Bullet Points: Harbinger Down
I came across Harbinger Down during one of my recent “scroll through Netflix for 40 minutes without watching anything” phases and the film jumped out at me from the start as an old school moster/thriller flick. I had no idea just how old school it was, at first, but after doing a bit of research on the film I learned that nearly all of the monster shots were done without use of CGI. I don’t know about you but that is the kind of thing that really gets my blood pumping and with a legend like Lance Henriksen playing the old crabby crab boat captain, I couldn’t have been more excited to watch Harbinger Down. These are my thoughts….
Synopsis: Three university scholars hitch a ride with the crab fishing grandfather of young Sadie in order to study the effects of global warming on a group of whales. Those plans come to a halt when a frozen piece of wreckage from a Soviet space craft are found and the ship gets infected with a very deadly parasite.
Is this The Thing or what: Not quite. The creatures are very Thing-like. They take on the trait of whatever they encompass and this thing is in a frozen area and is killed by fire. The other area where this film is like The Thing is that it is done with almost all practical effects. The idea for the film originated when the prequel to The Thing was being made a few years back and many of the shots that were done by the crew here were left un-used. They decided to put together a Kickstarter project and came up with an idea for Harbinger Down.
Science and shit: This film falls into one of the issues that seems to happen in all movies where there are scientists running around. Once we learn that a character is a scientist, they then become an expert on all things science. Sadie was studying whales and then she is giving a dude and autopsy. What in hell made her think she was qualified to do something like that? Get your science straight people!
Ewwww: From what I could tell upon first viewing, these were sea creatures who get hit with some serious radioactivity that turned them into what we see on screen. Now listen, I’m no scientist here so I can’t tell you how that would happen but I also had about 13 beers that day and I spent about 20 minutes at the beginning of the film trying to decide how exactly Lance Henriksen would die so I could be mistaken.
Lance Henriksen > Lance Bass: That gay dude from NSYNC has been saying he wasn’t to be the first “celebrity” in space for years. Has he ever seen a space movie cause I’m pretty sure Lance Henriksen has died about 85 times in space. Why does that matter, you ask? Because Lance Henriken is 1000 times cooler than Lance Bass and no amount of falsetto will save your life in the deepest reaches of space.
Diversity: The crew of the Harbinger had a serious U.N. thing going on. It had the Inuit dude, the Russian chick, the massive Big G (former bodyguard of Snoop Dogg), and then your normal stereotypes like the talkative black guy and the super average love interest dude. Kudos to the captain for keeping all these people from killing one another.
Favorite Quote: Lance Henriksen drops a Jaws-like “We’re gonna need a bigger bucket.”
The Verdict: I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Harbinger Down. I’m a sucker for the late 80’s infatuation with the deep sea monsters and as humans we’ve always had a fascination and terror when it comes to what lives under the ocean. The effects looked great and knowing that they’re the practical kind makes it even more impressive. The Kickstarter campaign raised $384,181 so we can all thank those who pledged for helping bring a film like to our screens. If you’re a sucker for movies like Leviathon, The Abyss, The Thing, or anything starring Lance Henriksen then you need to watch this one.