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Following a near-fatal accident, David Chamberlain makes an unprecedented discovery that will not only determine the fate of his family, but of mankind.

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Terminus movie full length review - Solid film making in the almost non existent Australian Sci Fi genre

The core premise of Terminus is an interesting one, involving one mans journey of redemption in a world headed for apocalypse.

What unfolds is a solid film that could be the beginning of a promising career for director Marc Furmie. The viewer must understand how hard it is to make a genre film in Australia. But this is never an excuse for poor storytelling. The script is good but not great- the story definitely borrows from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, and Marc Furmie shows his respect to classic films from the 70's and 80's. There aren't too many original ways to spin a sci fi yarn these days and this one goes for the heart, with a believable father and daughter relationship that isn't overpowered by action and special effects (which are very well executed). One has to admire a director who can work with a limited production budget in a local film industry that is extremely difficult to get a film off the ground at all. The story unfolds carefully, we are introduced to a troubled man David Chamberlain (Jai Koutrae) who has lost his wife, and things are hard as he struggles to provide for his teenage daughter Annabelle (Kendra Appleton). From here he has an encounter with an alien life form with healing powers that draws the attention of some government operatives with ulterior motives to use the extraterrestrial powers for purposes in a global war that is at the threat of nuclear destruction. Jai Koutae's performance conjures a little bit of Matthew McConaughey, and his quest is quite believable as a man with a past who follows his convictions. The standou performance is by up and coming actress Kendra Appleton. Her portrayal of Annabelle feels at all times real and she does well with the above average script, delivering her lines with conviction. She elevates the film and we care about her character. The peripheral characters are quite cardboard, obviously put there to drive the events forward (disgruntled sidekick who gets into bar fights and helps the main protagonist achieve his goal and government agents working against the protagonist with nasty motives). The choice to set the film in a small American farming town but actually filming in Sydney, Australia was one to obviously attract an broader audience is somewhat questionable to me. The thing that made District 9 work was the fact that it embraced Johannesburg, South Africa as a setting. The Australian actors doing American accents do a good enough job, but they don't feel grounded in reality, the intangible character nuances of small town US folk are all missing from their performances. Kieren Fowler's cinematography is classical with its use of dollies and tracking shots, only going for hand-held at certain key moments. This was a good choice however the lens flares are a little overbearing at times. The score feels like your standard sci fi flick, Brian Cachia manages to rouse the emotions in the later half of the film but unfortunately it feels a little derivative and uninspired at times. I would recommend this film to Sci Fi fans, don't expect anything new, but there is a bright future for director Marc Furmie and up and coming actress Kendra Appleton.