Oh what a creepy little movie you turned out to be The Harvest. I’m very impressed. Here I was thinking some kind of small town rural serial killer/homicidal maniac movie and instead I get a well thought out, emotive heart stopper (literally). The Harvest is well acted, well thought out and appreciates the audience by allowing it to become emotionally invested in some very lovable, fragile characters. Some of the recent Scream Factory/IFC Midnight partnerships have not been astounding. The Harvest is a clear favorite of mine and one that I will recommend.
There are elements of Peter Walker’s Frightmare, a little of Stephen King’s Misery as well as some body horror that just touches on Cronenberg. This delightfully wicked package is wrapped up with hints of Flowers in the Attic meets The Secret Garden. I feel like all of those references must combust when put together in the proper mixture.
Samantha Morton is tremendous and vicious while Michael Shannon feels like a Darth Vader to her Emperor. Both Natasha Calis and Charlie Tahan give excellent performances that are evocative and inspire the best kind of tension and terror. We know John McNoughton can create crazy on screen. He’s the fella who gave us Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. What we may not have known was that he could make us feel equally sympathetic for a psychopath, in much the same way as he made us feel disgusted by Henry.
You can order The Harvest now from Scream Factory. This ain’t your small town rural horror picture. There’s deep seeded crazy underfoot. I strongly recommend it to fan of psychological thrillers especially those fans of Peter Walker or Brian DePalma.
From IFC Midnight and Scream Factory:
In his first film in nearly 15 years, the director of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer harks back to the twisted suspense that made his 1986 debut a horror milestone with The Harvest . Deeply unsettling, The Harvest is a taut psychological thriller that examines that horrors that can lurk in unsuspecting places. Maryann (Natasha Calis, The Possession) moves in with her grandparents after she’s orphaned. Desperately lonely, the preteen sets out to befriend a deathly ill, bed-ridden boy (Charlie Tahan, Gotham), despite the outright disapproval of his overprotective mother (Samantha Morton, Minority Report, Sweet and Lowdown). Maryann’s persistence pays off, however, and during a series of secret visits she gradually uncovers some seriously sinister goings-on in the house. Showcasing a powerhouse performance by Morton that is both utterly monstrous and tragically desperate, The Harvest also features an impressive performance by Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Man of Steel) as the subdued suburban father.
The Harvest Special Features:
· Audio Commentary with director John McNaughton and producer Steven A. Jones