On a cold planet of ice and snow, mysterious creatures suddenly have appeared from the dark underground and have begun to attack the inhabitants. Can humanity survive the terror lurking beyond the horizon?
This is a bad show. This show would be in the bargain bin of a video store or show late at night on the SCIFY channel. You really should only watch this if, like me, you have a weakness for bad action sci-fi shows. Let’s get the good things out of the way first. The show does a good job with the low budget CGI that it has available. The monster was well designed to work with CG and most of the characters wear power suits or environmental suits for long periods of time. The bleak, lifeless, winter environments make life easy for the CG as well. There are lots of vehicles, drones, robots and automated turrets. CGI likes these things. They do a good job of making the characters visually diverse and unique so that you will have no trouble telling them apart. Many CGI shows could learn from this. That’s about it. This show has many, many flaws but they all fall into 4 categories. Firstly, there is nothing original here. If you have played a survival horror game or watched bad sci-fi horror shows you know everything about the plot and characters. There are no surprises here. Secondly, it is glaringly obvious that the whole show was constructed around a couple of set pieces and a few character beats. Unfortunately, the show runners could not figure out how to connect these scenes and character beats together in an organic or coherent way. Thus, if they couldn’t figure out how to get characters from one scene to another, they use a jump cut. They clearly intended for certain characters to be morally grey but didn’t know how to do that, so one minute the characters do bad things and then after a pep talk, they are now doing good things. Things conveniently happen like people suddenly having necessary skills or knowledge or coincidentally running into people who can help them with the specific problem they have. Deus ex machina’s are a regular occurrence. Thirdly the characters are all flat. They never leave their stereotypes except when the show needs them to some random bad or good thing. It is really hard to care about anyone here. Finally, none of this would have mattered if the actual set pieces were exciting or compelling or the character beats were affecting. Unfortunately, the show runners don’t know how to make that happen. They know roughly what needs to be done but not how to do it. To be honest this would have been better as a b-tier video game. Then most of its flaws wouldn’t matter if the gameplay was compelling. The beginning feels like the opening cut scene of a video game. Like I said this is a bad show for connoisseurs of bad sci-fi and people who want to play a drinking game with their friends. If you do decide to do a drinking game here are some suggestions. Someone tells Jim he is amazing. The monsters eat or attack something or someone who has nothing to do with sid just after it is mentioned the monsters are only interested in sid. The characters tell people to be quiet because the monsters react to sound and then proceed to make a lot of noise only for the monster to not notice. The monster easily captures and eats people despite being so slow a kid could run away from it. You see a scene of soldiers shooting at the monster, they then realize that bullets don’t work, and then reload and continue firing. Only one monster shows up to make it easy for the main characters despite the creature literally being called the swarm and moving in large packs otherwise. The monsters arrive ahead of the main characters at their destination. A monster gets into a secure government facility undetected despite being the size of a small car, glowing orange, moving slowly and damaging everything in its path. The authority of the moment refuses to take advice from the only people who have survived encounters with the monster. The pregnant woman and her unborn baby are unharmed by g-forces that would kill an air force pilot. Someone does a heel-faced turn. Someone implies that the corporation is evil. Someone tells Jim he is an idiot for helping people and not being a selfish jerk. Someone gives a speech about why doing good things is good. A jump-cut occurs so there is no need to explain how characters did something or got somewhere. Deus-ex Machina.
Review no. 85 Let’s start by saying that it is really hard for me to call this show “anime”. There is not a unanimous consensus about what is and what isn’t anime, many historians, theoreticians, critics and fans alike have different definitions, mine is, that type of animation as it started taking shape in the 60s onwards along with the many characteristics that shaped it through the later decades up until the 2000s, maybe the very early 2010. As for what are these characteristics that is a topic for another day. The main argument one can base his opinion of labeling this show an anime, is its transnationalism, which secondarily comes from its content. It mainly comes from its production as product, since it was made with American netflix money, had a couple of Japanese people on the steering wheel but it was mostly made by the Chinese animators that the schools over there produce by the hundreds like mcdonalds patties. That in my opinion is not enough. Speaking of animation, I do not mind the 3D animation, even though I prefer the 2D, so does the anime industry, and so does the majority of the fanbase, even though the most successful worldwide animated movies are made in 3D (Pixar etc.). Here though, it is not pretty, the animation is really basic, as it tires to be fully animated (hence it doesn’t take advantage of the tricks that limited animation has accumulated over the history of the medium), that would mean a lot of money, a lot of workforce, and a lot of hours that obviously could not be spend on the show. Hence, the animation looks ugly and dated, the models of the swarm look goofy and funny even though the designs are alright, and the scenes when they are galloping in the horizon look like a fuckin Nausicaa low budget parody. The sound didn’t do much to salvage the presentation since it is barely noticable, voice acting was decent though. The story ain’t half bad, it has a nice sense of constant struggling the group goes through, it feels like an adventure, although somewhere in thee midpoint of the show, that sense of struggling feels waaaay too forced and unnecessary just to put some extra adversity on our protaginist(s). Same goes for the characters, the show does try extra hard to make some characters super super unlikable, to unite us against them, contrast them against the valiant protagonist and to try later on in a something of a plot twist to make them look more morally gray than black/white, even though it fails in all of its attempts, aside maybe the goofy scientist. The main cast is alright though, Walter and Casper are clearly the best bois though. The ending of the show is very… let’s say westernized, and even though I was pretty sure that that’s how it was gonna end, I was still disappointed. So, is it worth a watch? Well, it is a decent show that in order to enjoy even remotely, you have to go through really subpar cg animation, so in its entirety, I can’t recommend it as a good show, but if one can overlook the presentation, it is serviceable as an 8 episode original show with a beginning and end to kill your time with.
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