The Krone Experiment (2005)

There’s a nice sense of realism to this film, with a step-by-step investigation into a series of mysterious events revealing a physically-plausible threat to our very existence.

So why haven’t you heard of it?

Perhaps because it was made in Austin, Texas, on a shoestring.

The problem with many of the low budget Science Fiction offerings that come with heavy praise from the Festival circuit is that they are a little rough around the edges.  So much goes into making a movie – from the cinematography to the editing to the performances of the actors – that it is hard to get it all right.  Anyone watching one of these films has to accept that they are flawed.

Of course, if you can see past the flaws, their clever ideas, interesting concepts and good writing might just win you over.  After all, the vast quantities of money required to make that perfect Hollywood feature almost guarantee that anything too radical will get softened, reduced or cut out altogether (one thinks of the claims that, in the Wachowski brothers original idea for the Matrix, the machines needed linked human minds to create their virtual world – but that this was too complicated for the money people and thus the untenable human “Coppertop” notion took its place).

The Krone Experiment plays out in near documentary fashion, much like one of those 1970s disaster movies, with a mid-level CIA executive becoming fascinated with a mysterious series of seismic events.  I find it intriguing that, even though I’ve heard similar predictions for the behavior of the exotic entity portrayed here, its identity still came as a surprise.

One way to tell that this is an Indie film is that it is directed by the son of the man who wrote the original novel, J. Craig Wheeler – and that J. Craig not only co-wrote the script, but appears as the billionaire scientific genius responsible for the disastrous experiment.

So keep the nitpickers away, accept that even Austin, Texas’ best professional actors aren’t as good as their Hollywood counterparts, and you should be able to enjoy this solid little Indie film.

That’s not so much to ask, right?

(Movie available here, courtesy of the Sci Fi London Film Festival)

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