Movie Review: Harbinger Down (2015)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2015 thriller starring Camille Balsamo and Lance Henriksen.

Synopsis: A team of researchers secure space on the Alaskan crabbing ship, Harbinger, so they can study the effects of global warming. While studying some whales, one of the team members discovers a downed Cold War Soviet space craft and the frozen ship, along with its deceased pilot, is brought on board. This proves to be a mistake as the crew quickly discovers the space ship is infested with a deadly organism that has the ability to shape shift.


The kids were in bed early enough for my wife and I to watch a movie last night and I decided to let her pick one out. She ended up choosing this film and, while I did, admittedly, have a few doubts about it, it turned out to be a good choice.

There were a couple things I found I liked about this film. The first was definitely the creature they were facing. At first, I was concerned this movie would simply be a ripoff of the film "The Thing." But, while there were some similarities, the creature did prove to be somewhat unique and, mostly because of the way it killed its victims, was actually much creepier than I was expecting.

The fact the movie takes place on a ship adds an additional element of suspense. They are far away from shore in the middle of a winter storm and, because of the frigid waters, it's not as though they can just jump overboard to escape. This does create a feeling of hopelessness, especially as the creature begins to take over the majority of the ship.

I wasn't a huge fan of the twist involving the Russian operative (Milla Bjorn) being on board the Harbinger, partly because it wasn't that much of a surprise (I kind of figured the fact the ship happened to have a Russian on board the day they discovered the space craft was more than a coincidence) and because her impact was actually kind of limited. I think the movie probably would have been better had the writers left that part out and focused on the monster instead.

Final Opinion

As I said, I could have done without the distraction of the Russian agent. But, overall, I thought this was an entertaining movie that proved to be creepier than I expected. It's worth taking the time to watch at least once if you haven't seen it before.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 12/27/2015, StevenHelmer
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