We’re living in something of a golden age when it comes to fan films/short films these days. Especially in the realm of science fiction, technology has advanced to the point where amateurs and fans can produce some genuinely impressive effects without having to take out a second mortgage on the house to finance the bloody thing. But with nigh-Hollywood-quality effects available to the talented journeyman, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the most effective moments don’t require flash-and-dazzle. Case in point: this new Half-Life short film, Enter the Freeman, which manages to be very effective thanks to a good old-fashioned mix of pacing, style, and one pretty decent-looking headcrab appliance.
From the opening narration Enter the Freeman does just about everything right — it’s decidedly cool to hear the always-silent Gordon Freeman actually speaking up for once. It doesn’t hurt that they found a guy who looks perfect for the part, but honestly I would have given them some leeway in that regard in light of Freeman’s badass entry and crowbar carnage. Hell, they even threw in a couple of G-Man appearances. What’s not to love?
Not bad work for a $3,000 budget and a two-night shoot. Bring on another installment!