'Beyond Black Mesa' Half-Life fan film released

“The best thing we could ever do would be to just not do this,” Gabe Newell told PC Gamer last year when the possibility of Hollywood making a Half-Life movie was raised. “Or we'd have to make it ourselves,” he added. Well, indie filmmakers Brian Curtin and Matthew Hall know Valve has plenty on its plate, so they went out and made their own film.

Titled Beyond Black Mesa, it went live this week, and you can view it below. We know this happened a few days ago, but if you haven't seen it yet... it's NEW TO YOU!

Like previous fan-generated shorts – Street Fighter Legacy springs to mind – Beyond Black Mesa has two things going in its favor. Firstly, it's made by people who know their shit and love the hell out of the source material. (You can't survive a day on a film set unless you're being paid well or you really love the subject matter – and Curtin/Hall haven't announced any day-job departures just yet).

Above: This flare-lit interlude is straight out of Aliens. If you're going to steal, steal from the best

Secondly, it's ten minutes long – meaning the stylistic showmanship, overdone orange/teal palette and and action-heavy plot don't have a chance to get on your wick. It's just 11 minutes of “how'd they do that?” moments and winking nods at everything from Portal to Naked Gun. If you like what you see here, show some love below. Then head to the pic's website and let them know what you thought – and how they might fit headcrabs into the sequel...

Jan 25, 2011


  • Spybreak8 - January 27, 2011 9:19 p.m.

    Even though Edward Norton probably killed his chances of being Gordon Freeman in a Half Life movie because of what happened with The Hulk, I still say slap some big black glasses on Edward Norton and he looks like a perfect actor for the part.
  • space_cakes - January 27, 2011 4:29 a.m.

    @ricono That's because headcrabs are enough of a nuisance as it is. GET OUT OF CITY 17!
  • misfit119 - January 26, 2011 11:48 p.m.

    All about atmosphere without cheap gimmicks or cliches? The games are riddled with cliches. The only thing that keeps them from being just another FPS is the fact that they have good level design and the gravity gun. Oh and a few really awesome levels. The fan film isn't all that great and I'd have taken more gunfights over stupid kung fu fights but lets not pretend that Half Life is some redefinition of a genre or anything.
  • Gameguy94 - January 26, 2011 11 p.m.

    That my friends is true film making talent. I really enjoyed the cinematography too.
  • yoyoguy - January 26, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    when they started the ninja style sword fight i stopped watching.
  • shaft121 - January 26, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    Overall, very disappointing and exactly how I thought it would be from the trailer. If you are going to make a fan movie, then be a fan and stick to the canon as much as you can. This is why the first Judge Dredd film failed. Combine soldiers aren't samurai and HeadCrab zombies have HeadCrabs on them and don't run as quickly as L4D infected. On a positive note, the effects and props/costume were good for a fan-made film but the environment it was filmed in didn't fit the Eastern European architecture of the game.
  • Apollomasque - January 26, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    Very, Very cool. The fight at the end was a bit silly and those zombies are a tad confusing, but overall? Good stuff.
  • HankVenture - January 26, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    Looked good for a fan made movie, but the second the guy on the ground does a spinning jump kick to knock someones gun out of their hand, I lost hope
  • thesuperspacejew - January 26, 2011 1:30 p.m.

    @santaclouse That was the conclusion I came to about the lack of headcrabs, seeing that this is a fan-made film and they didn't have the budget of a large studio, and even so, the slow HL zombies wouldn't fit in such a fast-paced film about this. Everyone is pretty much running; it wouldn't make too much sense to put in slow, shambling zombies. I think the kung-fu Matrix scene was a little unnecessary, though. They are resistance fighters, not martial-arts masters.
  • sniperscope - January 26, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    This is darn good! Escape From City 17 is better, but this is right up there with it!
  • Ultima - January 26, 2011 11:08 a.m.

    @Imgema you know what they say, great minds think alike ;)
  • Imgema - January 26, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    Also, Ultima, i would agree with you i i wasn't writing my comment the time you posted yours :P
  • Imgema - January 26, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    I hate to be the only one negative about this but it was boring, unoriginal and predictable. Full with cliches from mainstream Hollywood movies (slow-motion and matrix style fights anyone?). Fan-made projects should, at least, be more original and more subtle. And i'm not going to talk about the actors at all (because it's fan made). Technically, it was kinda good though (for a fan-made) Also, if there was going to be a Halflife movie, i would like to be made from the same director who made Children of Men.
  • Ultima - January 26, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    @Duke-Atreides it is Americanized in the fact that everybody is good looking and clean cut, everybody knows martial arts, there is an excess of slowmotion and it is over stylised to the point of being cheesy. Basically it fits all the hollywood stereotypes rather than doing something original with the source material. This is in stark contrast to the game which is highly original, no frills and all about atmosphere, intelligent design and class without ever resorting to cheap gimmicks or cliches.
  • infernox - January 26, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    also they used l4d zombies instead of headcrab zombies and combine use electric prods, not swords.
  • KiLLc0R3 - January 26, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    honestly i say that was really quite good man now see what the real problem here is that there are film students out there like these guys making amazing nostalgia boner inducing greatness, but the fuckin suits at places like nbc would much rather hemorrhage millions on steamy disgusting herpes sore piles like the cape... theres no justice i tells ya none at all... -________-
  • MikeT - January 26, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    I think Edward Norton would be the perfect Gordon
  • yonderTheGreat - January 26, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    "don't have a chance to get on your wick." And this is from GR US? Really?
  • Duke-Atreides - January 26, 2011 7:34 a.m.

    Also, Half Life is an American game. How can it be Americanized?
  • Duke-Atreides - January 26, 2011 7:30 a.m.

    Ultima, thats not supposed to be Gordon.

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000