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Review Leviathan (1989): Very underrated Alien clone!

genre: science fiction, horror, adventure

Leviathan is a good example of how to do a rip off or clone the right way. Director George P. Cosmatos already had shown with Cobra that he understood how to build up tension with very minimal means. And this time around he gets more room to do amp up suspense and dark atmosphere. 

The cast also does a good job of making events believable. Peter Weller most famous for his role in and as Robocop shows he truly is leading man material and definitely is one of the most underappreciated actors in film history. He is able to show toughness and vulnerability at the same time. Not many who can pull that off. There is a lot to the characters and you simply can't be sure whether they can be trusted or not. Dr. Glen 'Doc' Thompson for example is never around when you need him or always looks like he is up to something. Then you have Ms. Martin played by Meg Foster whose eyes really pierce through you. It very much adds to the viewing experience. Especially since with all the weirdness that is going on you can't quite predict of what is going to happen next. If it wasn't clear by now but Leviathan borrows from The Thing and Alien. Nothing wrong with that as long as it provides something fresh and unique of it's own. And Leviathan certainly is fresh. 

It also looks good and yet again practical effects stand the test of time. Because they look exquisite and haunting. Sure maybe at certain moments you can tell it's fake. However it never ever detracts from the fear and dread. I have read some reviews where they say the horror is laughable. Without actually clarifying or pointing out why they thought this. Now if I had to be the devil's advocate I could and would point out to some of the fake looking effects and the reactions of the characters to the horrors. But I am truly wondering if these people actually sat through the whole film. I highly doubt it. Since Leviathan while moving in quite a fast pace does take it's time to heighten the creepiness and dark atmosphere. It for the most part is very subtle up until a point. And at that time it only makes sense for the film to let loose. But even then it manages to be suspenseful. 

Leviathan is one of those films that just is fun from start to finish. It delivers on it's promise and then some. More importantly it never is pretentious. It knows what it is and benefits from the cast and the director taking the material serious.

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