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3.7 out of 5 stars23
3.7 out of 5 stars
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James Spader brings an element of class to an otherwise derivative sci-fi.
It's not quite as B-movie as the title suggests, however, with a reasonably interesting story which rises above the expected B-movie excuses for bared flesh and gore..
Basically, as the plot progresses you realise are watching a remake of The Thing, as a bunch of ill equipped scientists discover a mysterious craft which unleashes something unexpected.. only then you realise it is in fact morphing into a remake of Predator, as you get the first person perspective of the alien stalking the scientists, only to discover you are watching a weird version of Outbreak, as a strange virus... oh, why bother, you get the idea.. At least it nicks ideas from the best.
Suffice to say, it does hang together plot wise, although action movie buffs will likely be disappointed - the ending is more Abyss than Alien...
Barely passable effects and decent acting hold things together enough for a watch, but its not particularly a credit to anyone involved.
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VINE VOICEon 7 November 2006
Despite a title that suggests a dreadfully cheesy B-movie, this is actually surprisingly good. The sci-fi elements act as a catalyst for a distinctly human plot, rather than the focus, and the plausibly written characters work very well to further that.

The production design is also particularly nice, and the spaceship... well, just watch the thing.
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on 27 November 2003
There are limitations on just how good a stuck-in-the-lab film can be. This film is definitely above average.
Spader plays Julian Rome, a linguist and mathematician who once worked on the SETI project. A solid object has been found in the ice (emitting a powerful radio signal). Rome is called in to help decipher the signal.
Is the object signs of intelligence outside this world or something more prosiac? Is the object, and any occupants, benign or hostile?
The is also a subplot: Rome has a habit of dallying with his students. One of his ex-students, whom he had a relationship with, is one of the researchers at the station. Will he get back with her or go for Nyla?
This film is a lot better than "Deceived". What I liked about the film were characters are well drawn and things are not as black and white as they first seem. At the end of the day, however, the genre limits the possibilities.
In short, this film is a good film for those who like the genre (and those who have yet to be converted may want to give this film a try).
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on 11 October 2013
The guy who couldn't act in 2001 has a bit role in this film. This is a more practical man meets alien sci-fi movie, which means it is duller or Dullea as the case might be. What I like about the story is that someone finally gets it right about infections with alien organisms making contact between life on two planets deadly for both worlds. The basic plot is: Man finds alien. Alien organisms kill man. Man kills alien and then nukes him for good measure. What made the movie unbelievable is that James Spader, who has a reputation as a "hound" keeps turning down major league babes. What was with that?
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on 20 May 2010
OK, so this film was done on a tight Budget, if your expecting a forgotten James Cameron type film, then you will be sadly disappointed. However, if you like something a bit quirky then this may be your cup of tea. The story (Such as it is) is a cross between "The Thing" and "ET", maybe a bit of "Hanger 17". Essentially it has all been done before, but this is not necessarily a bad film, just lacks originality. What I did like was the fact that the Russians actually speak russian (Subtitles at the bottom of the screen.) Non of this speak english with a Russian accent. This was kind of refreshing. A pleasant way to spend a wet afternoon. Just don't expect anything cerebal, or to be blown away by the special effects.
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on 15 January 2011
This one is a nice surprise. I expected a B movie with everything in that category but in fact it was not at all bad. The Story was not original but it was well played out. Actors behaved rather good and the alien was interesting. I usually see all Sf movies and this one is worth seeing without any bad conscience of how you spend your free time. Only, why do an alien race that are able to build biological spaceships stay unable to cure a decease they have had for zillions of years? And was Mars populated once?
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on 13 December 2015
If you can stop shouting at the idiot with the black eyebrows, this is actually a very watchable film. Its like "Stargate, Contact, Independence day, & Mission to Mars" all in one film. Spader seems adept at making these sort of outings believable. I only know him from Emmerichs "Stargate", which is one of favourite Sci films.

This rather takes on that route, with some parts definitely X files content.

Dont want to give any spoilers, seems its been out some time, but first Time I known about it. Some pretty nice ladies in it to^^
HD quality is satisfactory for a 2003 film, which was first seen on Channel 5 HD.

if you liked "Stargate", simple but very effective use of the unknown tension round the corner. very independence day as aliens go, Spaders shocking message he decodes a bit like Jeff Goldblum, gives it a really enjoyable unexpected ride. I have seen much worse main stream sci films that did not make me keep watching so intently. Give it a go, price is high, A lot of older DVD films are beginning to get expensive now. My "Puppet On Chain" from here was hard to get under £20, and its still in 4.3 and hasn't been upgraded to better resolution which is a shame.
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on 1 October 2010
If you've seen "The Thing From Another World" or the re-make "The Thing", then you've already seen everything that this film has to offer.

Arctic ice station, frozen block of ice with something inside it, thawing out, breaking in, alien awakes.

The twist in this story is that inside the pod is a virus so deadly that it must never be allowed to escape - it kills all life in seconds. Cue destruction of the base by the end of the film.

If any of this sounds familiar, and it probably will, then this film isn't for you. The acting is OK, the sets are fine, the story works, kind of, but there just isn't anything original here.

And James Spader goes through the film as though someone's talking in his ear all the time - he just doesn't feel fully present.

Frankly, I don't know why they bothered making this film - there must be some original ideas out there worth filming, rather than rehash this old chestnut.
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on 12 September 2015
Alien found in ice. Alien lose in an enclosed space. Scientists don't trust each other. Sounds familiar. Unfortunately this isn't The Thing. This is Alien Hunter. Awful in every sense and I'm even including James Spader in that and he has become one of my favourite actors. Effects are not great but wait until the end. It looks like they were done on a ZX81. Avoid.
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on 7 February 2007
Loving the Alien?

There were moments when I got a bit distracted from the plot. I started muttering about GM crops (I'm against them, but agree they are an excellent plot device here). I wondered why anyone would use the term "virus" if they meant "protozoa".

I even got a bit carried away by Julian's comments about English cows mooing in just the same way as French cows. I started to tell the screen that I saw a news item about cows mooing with regional accents.

Those minor distractions aside, this film did draw me in. I appreciated the plot twists. The film is very atmospheric. I started to feel sad about the plight of the poor scientists.

I did wonder about Kate (Janine Eser) and her choice of how to spend her final 3 hours of life. She's back on cordial terms with her ex, and he looks like James Spader, and she decides that holding hands would be good. (Actually, she originally settles for crouching down companionably next to him: the director's commentary explains that the hand holding moment is a later insert.) Oh well, the success of "The X-Files" demonstrates that millions of sci-fi fans find sexual tension more intriguing than actual sex scenes ...

This film is very well acted. Carl Lewis, who plays the communications officer, is the former Olympic gold medallist. If you'd told me it was a trained actor who happened to have the same name, I'd have believed you. I thought James Spader was very good as 37 year old cryptologist Julian. I had not seen much of John Lynch's work before I watched this, but I would now be interested in seeing more of it.

My favourite accessories are the knitting needles used by Nyla (Leslie Stefanson), because I wasn't expecting an Antarctic scientist to knit, and the photo of Julian-when-he-was-younger. (The latter is at the start of Chapter 8 on the DVD.)

The DVD is quite generous in terms of extras. The director's commentary is funny. He praises his Bulgarian crew many times. He points out his tiny cameo. He tells us which props were made of paper and which of cereal that had been painted green. He tells us which explosions were CGI and which involved real explosions with flying stunt doubles in duffel coats. He lets us in on little secrets such as, "That isn't rubber glass, it's real glass, John Lynch wasn't meant to kick in that glass panel but he did and we kept it in".

The "making of" featurette is enlightening. It was interesting to see director Ron Krauss because usually I have no idea what film directors look like. If Krauss is ever short of good looking actors, he should award himself a longer cameo. The "alternative ending" makes absolutely no sense.

To sum up: this is a surprisingly good film, although for reasons of creating the right atmosphere the colours are a bit drab for my taste. Amazon does not permit spoilers, but I wouldn't want to give away the ending even if I could. Do they end up loving the alien or hating it? Being killed by it or by their own side or by something else? This is a four and a half star film (so I've given it 5), so please watch it for yourselves.
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