Inanimate aka Harbinger Down 2015
“Inanimate aka Harbinger Down centers around a few grad students and their professor who have booked passage on a crab boat to study some wales. They soon discover something floating in the ice in the middle of the Bering Sea. Bringing it aboard to study was their first mistake. If the students and crew want to survive they will have to outsmart and fight against an organism they know nothing about.” – I wrote this!
I came across Inanimate, starring the great Lance Henriksen, as the Captain of the crab boat the Harbinger, and thought it sounded familiar. Halfway through the description I read “Harbinger” and I remembered another movie on my list of movies to see called “Harbinger Down” and sure enough it’s the same movie just released under a new name.
Inanimate is one of the movies I chose to watch for my New Year’s Eve fun because, yes, I have no life. However, I am so glad I chose it. It’s basically, John Carpenter’s The Thing on a boat. I really enjoyed this. It had some CGI but mainly the effects were practical and if you’ve ever read this blog, you know I how love practical effects! The acting was fine, the story, though done before was good. It made for a really decent creature feature.
It would be unfair to completely compare this film to The Thing. But, if you love monster movies, and B horror movies and creature features like I do, you’re going to have fun watching this one. Decent special effects done by Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. who have a long history of greatness behind them. The only reason I say “decent” instead of great or amazing is only because of the budget. Some of the practical effects were in fact great and amazing.
Alec Gillis also wrote and directed Inanimate aka Harbinger Down. As I recall, it was also a crowd funded film. Ok, just double checked and yes it was. I remember this. I remember watching the promotional video on Kickstarter. But, I digress. My point, there is a lot of talent that went into the making of this film and most of, if not all of the funding came from the fans. It’s specific intent was to make a good creature feature with real effects and they succeeded! I wish I remembered this sooner or I would have been singing the films praise a lot sooner.
I saw no problems with the acting. Everyone in it did a good job. Special notes to Lance Henriksen who was great as the salty sea captain. Believable without over doing it. Milla Bjorn as Svet the Russian who played kickass and vulnerable very well. Last but not least was the performance of Winston James Francis as Big G. He was great when intimidating and at having a lighter side. Well done all around really.
I would also like to offer a special note and props to the screenwriter or whoever it was that came up with the line, “tomfuckery.” Well done, well done indeed. Fuckery has long been one of my favorite words, I use it often. “Religious Fuckery”, “Heinous Fuckery”, you simply can’t go wrong with use of a well placed fuckery. Kudos to you.
Now, as much as I enjoyed this movie, I have to talk about some of the things that I thought could have been better. About the only things I can really think of would be the level of suspense. This movie moves fast, maybe too fast? It needed a little more suspense. Some scenes I thought played out too quickly. Another issue in my opinion, some of the special effects were shot in lighting that was just a little too low to fully appreciate them. Now when I say low lighting, I don’t mean that annoying, way too dark, can’t see anything, kind of lighting. I just felt that a couple of key scenes needed more lighting.
A specific example of this came during one of the creature reveals. I couldn’t completely make it out. I wanted to see it in all of it’s glory and it was just too dark. I think the lighting could have been better in some of these effects scenes. It just felt like a shame to have these wonderful effects not be fully realized on film. I would show a screen capture to illustrate what I am talking about but I don’t want to ruin one of the films key reveals.
As for the suspense comment I made. I was just re-watching one of the scenes and I realized the problem. It’s the lack of music. It’s missing some subtle music that would have been a benefit to what should been a semi-suspenseful scene. Though the scene does in fact offer suspense, I think it would have been helped tremendously by music.
Here’s the deal my friends, there’s a lot of crap horror out there and sometimes I can be a little harsh with my reviews. Sometimes, maybe I give a film too much credit, maybe praising it more than it deserves. This isn’t one of those time where I offer a movie too much praise. This is a film you shouldn’t rent, you should buy it, don’t go watch it on Netflix instead of buying it. You can watch it on Netflix but please buy this film on DVD, Blu-Ray or on Amazon Prime. Encourage these people to make more movies. There are so few people out there making horror movies that actually give a shit about quality. These people actually do.
I’m not saying this Inanimate aka Harbinger Down is the best ever. I’m saying it deserves a lot of respect, it was fun and entertaining. Anyone that loves creature features is going to enjoy this movie. Anyone that didn’t enjoy Inanimate simply doesn’t like creature features. In fact, I would even go as far as calling their reviews an act of heinous tomfuckery most foul.
Cast of Chracters:
Lance Henriksen as Graff
Giovonnie Samuels as Ronelle
Matt Winston as Stephen
Camille Balsamo as Sadie
Reid Collums as Bowman
Michael Estime as Dock
Milla Bjorn as Svetlana
Winston James Francis as Big G
Jason Speer as Sergei
Edwin H. Bravo as Atka
Sean Serino as Tamara
Mick Ignis as Tardigrade
Kraig W. Sturtz as Roland