The Harvest (2013)

Horror, Thriller
Samantha Morton, Michael Shannon, Natasha Calis, Charlie Tahan
A couple who keeps their sick son in a secluded environment find their controlled lives challenged by a young girl who moves in next door.
  • IFC Films Company:
  • NOT RATED Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 10 Apr 2015 Released:
  • 31 Aug 2015 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Stephen Lancellotti Writer:
  • John McNaughton Director:
  • N/A Website:


Intriguing thriller, but not a horror movie (kinda)8/10
Greetings from Lithuania.

"The Harvest" (2013) is a very well made small thriller. It doesn't feature big scares or explosions, yet it's simple but very intriguing story keeps you on the edge of your seat during the whole running time 1 h 34 min. Performances were very OK, especially by Samanta Morton - she's great here, you will definitely start hating her.

Overall, "The Harvest" isn't horror movie. It's a thriller about other kind of monster. It's well acted and very well paced - at average running time it never drags and is intriguing from start till finish. The plot is very simple yet intriguingly done with a one or two twists. Definitely worth seeing for one boring evening.
Giving this movie a seven may be pushing it, but the movie is actually pretty good. I saw the trailer and was interested, despite the poor reviews, and was pleasantly surprised. The acting was good, and the boy in this movies acting was excellent. This movie follows a young girl who moved to a small town with her grandparents and meets a handicap boy. His parents mysteriously do not want him around but he still meets him. She discovers secrets, but no one believes her. The movie wasn't all good, there were plenty of flaws. The genre is a horror/thriller. Yet the movie drags at times, and is in no way scary. But if you have a week night alone, and have nothing to do, this is just the movie for you.
Adventurous girl befriends a dying boy and uncovers a dark secret.

This is carefully put together and well acted by the girl and boy. The obsessive mother looked like she was heading for Kathy Bates intensity, but I think the punches were pulled in the end.

Problem I had with this was it starts as a conventional family drama and only ups the stakes halfway through, and even then it never develops a sense of menace. It's as if they thought the plot reveal alone would elevate the story beyond the Nancy Drew level.

Also the pace is pedestrian. The director gets the technicals spot on, but I guess the screenplay didn't give enough to allow the tension to mount.
Movie Review: The Harvest (2013)8/10
John McNaughton, Master of Horror. The mastermind who brought Clive Barker's twisted words to life in Haeckel's Tale. The man who introduced the world to The Borrower. He reminded us what real-life horror looks like with HENRY, now brings you a all new psychological horror film entitled: The Harvest.

The film stars fan favorites Peter Fonda, Michael Shannon, Samantha Morton, Charlie Tahan (From TV Series GOTHAM) and Natasha Calis. The movie starts off with a incident that thankfully ends up with a blessed outcome. That incident, introduces us to Katherine (played by Samantha Morton) who is caring for her sick invalid son, Andy (played by Charlie Tahan) alongside her husband (played by Michael Shannon). The atmosphere in the film from the get go already has a precursor of things to come.

Like most psychological horror films, there is the slow burn. That being said, the film seems to intertwine between two families and the maelstrom of chaos that unravels.

The unraveling begins with Maryann (played by Natasha Calis), Andy's new neighbor and ONLY friend. She moves into the neighborhood with her grandparents (played by Leslie Lyles and the ever so cool Peter Fonda), after the death of her parents. The two then, form an unlikely friendship. So much in fact that, the caring demeanor of his mother suddenly takes a turn from sweet yet tired to a more domineering almost "Annie Wilkes like persona".

The two friends continue to see each other even at the warnings of both families. As, their friendship grows so does the tension between Mother and Son. Samantha Morton's acting ability truly shows in this film, it's my favorite performance of hers next to "CONTROL". This woman really begs to be hated. Michael Shannon's acting in this film also shows range from his usual bad guy roles. He truly plays the role of a grieving father quite masterfully, so much to where you begin to feel his sadness and pain, it's simply brilliant.

As the tensions rise between both Maryann and Katherine, so does the viewing of this film. It really grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go once you reach the 50 minute mark. John's directing style really adds to the intensity once the film picks up. There is a twist ending that appears, I did NOT see coming!

The Harvest is another example that psychological horror films are not dead. If you are a fan of the genre and enjoy good slow burn with a brilliant payoff ending, then give this film a watch!
Parenting 1018/10
The director won't really care what you think of this movie. That much he made clear in his Q&A at the Frightfest Festvial this movie played at. Whatever you think of an attitude like that, it shouldn't matter on your opinion of this movie. Which is really good. It's the script, but also the performances. There are a lot of gray areas that are filled with life here.

There is also a twist here, that you might see coming early on, or be surprised when you see it. Whatever the case, it is very powerful. So it's not when you know, but what you discover that will certainly leave a mark. In a very good way. And though it goes completely over the top towards the end, it still works ...