Review: Harbinger Down

In Movies, REVIEW by Beyond The GeekLeave a Comment

After an impressive Kickstarter campaign, over $380,000, writer/director Alec Gillis’ tale of a crabbing vessel, it’s researcher accompaniments, stranded on the Bering Sea and hunted by an alien entity is final here!

Gillis, who is better know for his piratical effects wizardry, AVP, Starship Troopers, Pumpkinhead, Aliens, Predator, directs this ice soaked sci-fi monster flick with a even, steady hand. His experience working with James Cameron and Stan Winston has defiantly paid dividends.

Veteran heavy, Lance Henriksen (Pumpkinhead, Aliens, Millennium, Terminator), cast as the ‘ole salty ship captain of the Harbinger anchors this Gillis picture. At this point in his career Henriksen can pull off this role in his sleep, but even with the familiarity, he’s solid. Rounding out the cast is Matt Winston’s (Stan’s son) as the career centered professor; Camille Balsamo, she plays Henriksen’s granddaughter. Balsamo is probably best known for her role as Kami on Murder in the First. Henrisken might be the name on the poster but Balsamo get’s the most screen time. She proves to be more than capable, and am sure we’ll be seeing more of her in the near future.


The rest of the cast is comprised of faces that will make you go; “hey, where did i see them before?” There aren’t any weak links here.

I’m not going to dwell too much on the plot, it’s pretty ordinary but for this type of film simpler is better I feel. So here’s the 90 second elevator pitch:

Soviet spaceship crashes into the Bering Sea. Thirty years later, the Harbinger, while taking out some whale researches discover it frozen. They bring it on board, unknowing there’s an alien life form inside. People die. There’s a bit of a twist in there, but if you’re genre fan worth their salt you’ll see it a fathom away.

So Was the voyage a success?

For this writer, yes. Not always the smoothest ride, but Gillis’s use of old skool particular effects, solid filming, and a reliable cast out weighed some of the unoriginality of the script. Also, the monster, it’s weird, big, and gross. I loved it. It’s a bit of the Thing, Predator, and Alien rolled into one. If this film does nothing more than restore your love of Stan Winston/Rick Baker creatures, then it’s in a fantastic success.

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