The Barbados Project is a found sci-fi horror film that wears the tropes of the genre on its sleeve. Primarily following journalist Reesa Price (Cherah Belgrave) and her team as they expose a massive government conspiracy, the film is packed with CGI footage of interdimensional monsters and classic found footage jumps. The structure is like a documentary compiling the footage of those horrific attacks, flowing like Cloverfield meets a CIA documentary. With alien possessions, giant crab-like monsters and multiversal theories, directors Thomas Burke and Stockton Miller (who also wrote the film) merge sci-fi and horror in a unique format.
A series of mysterious attacks on the island of Barbados is ongoing, but local authorities say ‘it was all just a military exercise’. But when images of massive aliens and portals to the unknown begin to surface, Reesa seeks to uncover the truth behind the deception. The reporter and her team quickly find themselves overwhelmed as a once-in-a-lifetime story could turn out to be the last.
“…Price and his team… expose a massive conspiracy by the government… of interdimensional monsters…”
The film wears his creativity and independent credibility like a badge of honor. Films from Barbados are rare, at least in the United States. This fact alone makes it a triumph; when considering the budget beyond the low budget, the CG is impressive. But most remarkable in The Barbados Project is the zealous passion for cinema displayed by the entire cast and crew. When you watch a movie like this, especially given its budget, you see creativity, innovation, and a willingness to show the love of cinema. The filmmakers’ love of the found footage genre is evident in every frame.
Unfortunately, the movie is not without flaws. Despite fun visuals and a commitment to its POV setting, many character moments happen with minimal buildup or progression. I love the idea of a documentary crew trying to uncover the truth about a ridiculous monster. But what makes found footage horror such a fun genre is what we don’t see. The viewer’s imagination is often more horrifying than anything the camera can show.
As the credits roll The Barbados Project, I was thinking about his blockages. Although there are many, the film is an excellent example of the innovative spirit of independent cinema. Burke and Miller continue the tradition of making creative horror on a shoestring budget. The duo created a pretty solid sci-fi horror film, but beyond that, they opened doors for a new generation of filmmakers to come from Barbados. The plot needs some fine-tuning and more time to develop its characters and build tension, but the film still left me fascinated to see what future projects come out of the island nation next.