Movie Review: Harbinger Down

Harbinger Down
Amazon Instant Video
Written and Directed by Alec Gillis
Starring Lance Henriksen, Camille Balsamo, and Matt Winston
Running Time: 82 minutes
Vertical Entertainment
Release Date: August 7, 2015

The groundbreaking French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard is often attributed with the quote, “The best way to critique a movie is to make another movie.” Five years ago, the visual effects artisans at Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. (a.k.a. StudioADI) were tasked with designing and constructing practical creature effects for Universal Pictures’ prequel to John Carpenter’s masterpiece of alien-infused body horror, The Thing. When studio execs took a gander at the nightmarish fusion of extraterrestrial menace and human suffering that many laborious hours of painstaking work had brought to life, they ordered the film’s release delayed nearly a year, so that the in-camera effects could be erased from existence and replaced with shiny new digital creations that lacked the love, imagination, and gallons of slime the Amalgamated Dynamics crew had devoted so much time and effort to making a reality.

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New Trailer For ‘Harbinger Down,’ A Practical FX Monster Movie
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The overuse of CGI in movie making has gotten so bad that even legends of the art of practical effects are walking away from the game entirely.

We may never see a day where Hollywood stops relying almost entirely on digital effects—because money is worlds more important to the big studios than what movie fans actually want—but there are some who continue to fight for the use of the far superior practical effects in movies, including Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. of studioADI. The Academy Award winning talent behind great PFX movies like Starship Troopers, Tremors, and Alien³ took to Kickstarter a couple of years back to help fund a creature feature titled Harbinger Down, and succeeded.

A new international trailer for the movie, which stars the great Lance Henriksen, has been released online. You can check it out below.

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Trailer & Poster For ‘Harbinger Down,’ A Practical Effects Creature Feature
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A little over a year ago we ran a Kickstarter Spotlight for a creature feature titled Harbinger Down from Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. through their studioADI.

The movie celebrates the art of practical effects by creating all of the creatures that appear in the movie with human hands instead of inside of a computer, and only using digital effects to enhance the visuals, as it should be.

Now a trailer for Harbinger Down has been released, and can be seen below along with a movie poster.

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Kickstarter Spotlight: CGI-Free Creatures Movie ‘Harbinger Down’ From ‘Alien,’ ‘Tremors’ FX Team
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Another great Kickstarter project to take a peek at if you’re looking for something new to back, Harbinger Down is a horror movie that promises to have not one single CGI creature.

Most movie purists loathe the over-saturated world of CGI that we now live in, and crave the practical effects that are being used less and less every day as movie studios sacrifice quality to save a little coin. This makes a project like Harbinger Down all the more appealing.

The movie is being made by Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. and their company Amalgamated Dynamics, a practical effects workshop that has worked on many movies, including Tremors, Alien 3, Starship Troopers, and the recent remake of The Thing. They’ve also got some industry friends who are going to help them make the movie who have worked on movies like Aliens, Terminator 2, and The Empire Strikes Back, just to name a few. Between them all, they have four Oscar wins and ten nominations.

Continue reading for more info and to see a video from the filmmakers on why you should pledge and help them make this movie.

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