A few weeks ago I found myself musing about The Low-Budget Halo Effect. It's a theory I came up with to explain why we as viewers find ourselves to be more forgiving of sci-fi films made on a low budget. Now obviously we tend to be more receptive toward ambition and less critical of ways and means for low budget films of all genres, but when it comes to science fiction, we're often even more lenient of flaws than normal. I think this has to do with the fact that the genre is so often known for its bloated budgets in service of awe-inspiring, big-screen spectacle, so when we come across a film that reaches beyond its grasp with the best intentions, we're okay with it.

Had I seen Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter's feature film debut, Cargo, at that time I could have tailored that post specifically for it. Not only is it an independently financed passion project set aboard a spaceship that took over seven years to complete, but it was made in Switzerland, of all places. The entire film is an anomaly, which is precisely why it's been one of my most anticipated sci-fi films since first writing about its trailer on this very site.

Unfortunately I think Cargo will only be remembered because it is an anomaly. The Low-Budget Halo Effect is in full bloom here; remove the country of origin, forget who made it and how long it took them to do so, and this Swiss oddity withers on the vine. I hate to say that, I really do, particularly on a site whose mission is to honor the sci-fi genre, but the end product is a tad bit underwhelming.
categories Reviews, Sci-Fi