The Harry Potter franchise is no stranger to fan films, but few are quite as ambitious as Voldemort: Origins of the Heir. The film deals with the origins of Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort, as it follows him while still a student at Hogwarts. After first being teased several months ago, the complete film is now available to view for free. Check out the entire film below.
The film clocks in at slightly over 50 minutes in length, so this is no short YouTube video. At first glance, it's a pretty well-done production. The wand effects that we see in the opening sequence, while maybe not quite up to par with a Warner Bros. movie, are well done. The costuming of the students at Hogwarts, however, could have pretty much come right out of the films. Most of the sets are dimly lit, which is likely done to help hide any imperfections, but overall they look pretty good as well.
If there's a major issue to take with Voldemort: Origin of the Heir, it may be that the film is Italian in origin, which led the production to overdub the dialogue in English. While this might make the film more accessible to an English speaking audience overall, dubbing into another language always means you're going to have some sync issues, and Origin of the Heir has them. It might not be a big deal for some, but it took me right out of the story.
If you're a Harry Potter fan, you'd best watch the film while you still can. Fan films have a track record online that is spotty at best. Quite often they end up getting taken down when the holders of copyrights file claims with YouTube. It's possible the same fate could be in store for Voldemort: Origin of the Heir. Although, Tryangle Films has made no secret that they were working on this project, so if they haven't received a cease and desist already, it's possible that one is not on the way.
The film is designed to primarily deal with aspects of Tom Riddle that are not dealt with in the books or movies, thus giving the filmmakers some room to play around with ideas rather than simply put established events on screen. That's often what fan films do, though in this case, the actual Harry Potter film franchise is producing prequels themselves in the form of the Fantastic Beasts series. Considering the new series will cover five films and unspecified period of time, it's possible the movies could eventually deal with some of the same information that this film covers.
Overall Voldemort: Origin of the Heir is very well done, and, assuming no legal issues, it's a safe bet we'll be seeing them again in the future.