04 September 2015



USA, 2015
Director: Alec Gillis


In 2011, when the awful "The Thing" prequel came out, no-one (not even me...) was as pissed about it as the American special effects company "Amalgamated Dynamics (ADI)". Hell, this awesome company created lots and lots of practical effects for the film, but for whatever reason, the studio gave a crap about all of ADI's hard work and simply replaced their effects with generic CGI
for the final cut of the film.

In response to this, they decided to create their very own "Thing" film: "Harbinger Down", a creature feature with tons of animatronics, prosthetic makeup, stop motion and miniature effects. They collected $384,181 via one of the most successful crowdfunding projects in Kickstarter history, hired genre legend Lance Henriksen ("Aliens", "The Terminator") to star in it, and hired visual effects artist Alec Gillis (2 Oscar nominations for "Starship Troopers" and "Alien 3") to write/direct the movie, which takes place on crabbing boat "Harbinger" where the crew has to fight for their lives against a couple of aggressively
mutating organisms.

What could have been a badass monster-fest, or even a contemporary creature-feature-classic, turns out to be a badly directed, horribly written and dreadfully developed low-budget ripoff of John Carpenter's "The Thing", with the filmmakers focusing so hard on the effects, that they obviously forgot to care about everything else, and with Matt Winston ("Halloween H20") and Milla Bjorn (who?) delivering two of the absolute worst acting performances I've ever seen; even worse than Zahra Swetz in "Dream Warrior".

Casting? Fuck it. Just hire some hot chicks and a few dumb guys. Characters? No-one cares about characters when you have lots of old-school practical creature effects. Dialogue? Just let those idiots deliver some silly jokes and odd lines. Don't forget to add the one joke with the frozen communist ahahaha ("What do you call a frozen Communist? Hammer and pop-sickle." BA DUM TSS) Suspense? Atmosphere? Scariness? Who cares?! A few jump scares will do.
It's all about the effects, baby.

I'm not lying when I say that aside from the effects, which are all brilliant, there's nothing enjoyable about "Harbinger Down", not even Lance Henriksen who hits another career low when he tries and fails to pay tribute to "Jaws" by saying "We need a bigger bucket.". You don't need to know what's up with this fucking bucket. Just close your eyes and imagine him saying this cringe-worthy and utterly atrocious line... *shudders*

In addition, the movie drags and drags, bores you with scenes and sequences that are simply ripped of off "The Thing", "Alien" or "Aliens", and ultimately leaves you totally disappointed. A pity. Even "Virus" is better than this...

Wiki ~ Imdb

Thanks to Alex Klenert (Prodigy PR) for the screener!


  1. We kind of liked "Virus"... ...
    By what you said we wold probably enjoy this one ( just for the monster effects)...
    ... have seen a lot of poor films with some great "qualities" along....
    We had heard of this one back when it was "Kick-Starter"...

    1. I'm not a fan of "Virus", but it's definitely more entertaining than this trashfest.
      Stick to "Virus". Ignore "Harbinger".

  2. One last time...

    'Rollergator' = 4/10.
    'Harbinger Down' = 3/10

    I hope that this is just some quirk of the Metric System that everyone but America (USA! USA!) likes to use.

    Otherwise, I have to assume that Alec Gillis, Matt Winston and Milla Bjorn raped and killed someone in your family but never faced justice.

    That or you watched this with some atrocious German Dubbing. Otherwise, I don't get this at all.

    1. I already posted this Roger Ebert quote here on the Rating System post http://www.horrormoviediary.net/p/rating-system.html
      but I have no problem posting it again, silly:

      "I cringe when people say, "How could you give that movie four stars?" I reply, "What in my review did you disagree with?" Invariably, they're stuck for an answer. One thing I try to do is provide an accurate account of what you will see, and how I feel about it. I cannot speak for you. Any worthwhile review is subjective. If we completely disagree, my words might nevertheless be useful or provocative. If you disagree with what I write, be my guest. If you disagree with how many stars I gave it, you can mail your opinion to where the sun don't shine."
      (Roger Ebert, Sept 2008)

  3. Hey! Leave Virus out of this! But it is too bad that this didn't turn out better.

    1. I can't, I just can't. They're both somehow similar - but hey, "Virus" is better.


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