MOON and DISTRICT 9 and this year it's SKYLINE. There's also the upcoming MONSTERS to look forward to.
What links all these? Well they're all science fiction, they all cost peanuts and they all feature excellent special effects.
Whilst James Cameron can still command budgets that dwarf the national income of a small nation (mainly because his movies make more money than the national income of a medium sized nation), effects savvy independent movie makers have cottoned on to the idea that passable CGI effects can now be knocked up at a price that probably wouldn't pay for Cameron's limo driver. This means that shoddy special effects are no longer excusable even for the low budget film maker, but it also means that massive special effects are no longer the sole preserve of the studio blockbuster.
We'd like to think that this means studion blockbusters will have to get smarter in order to stay ahead of the game, but really what are the odds of that?
Even so, the low budget CGI special effect might mean that this becomes the genre of choice for independent film makers that previously would have turned to horror. Which is good news for anyone who likes their sci fi with brains (and we don't mean brains being eaten by aliens!).