To be honest, I was unaware of the existence of Director Marvin Kren’s well-liked debut, Rammbock. So I had no prior knowledge of the man’s talents. His latest, The Station is about a group of scientists in the German Alps who discover a glacier dripping with red liquid, a substance that’s effect on the local wildlife results in monstrous mutations. Just by reading the synopsis; it’s hard not to hastily label the film as the Austrian version of The Thing. The influence is undeniable but as The Station plays out, you realize Kren’s latest firmly stands on its own two feet.
The cast does a fine job at projecting believable characterizations for us to care about. Gerhard Liebmann’s full-bodied performance as our central protagonist Janek is as good as it gets. Another standout is Brigitte Kren as the feisty Minister Bodicek. She steals the show as the unlikeliest of genre heroes.
Kren wisely decides to stick to old school creature effects gags. Whether it was forced upon by lack of funds or not, we see just enough of the creature to send chills up the spine. From what is presented, the designs are fairly cool. There is use of CGI but it’s utilized in a low-key, attention-shy way. There is some gore but more of the blood splattery variety, nothing we haven’t seen before.
The Station is a perfectly decent horror thriller. It’s all pretty text book stuff. There’s really nothing here that we haven’t seen before. The contemporary message dealing with the dangers of climate change works. It’s as realistically portrayed as you’d hope for in what essentially is an old-fashioned creature flick. I was with the film from start to finish, patiently awaiting it to take it to the next level. Unfortunately it never does. When the action breaks out, it’s all fairly generic. There is solid scare or two but that’s about it. Its effectiveness is mostly stemmed from the fact that Kren’s group of actors do such a solid job.
The Station is a commendable effort for a low budgeter. Kren’s abilities as a filmmaker are without question. The movie is skillfully crafted and paced. While this sophomore venture never quite takes off for me, I will anxiously await what he has in store for us next. The Station is ultimately uneventful yet offers just enough goodies to entertain horror fans who like minimalistic genre fare.