The Harvest 3.5/5 STARS

Yes, yes, I’ve got a movie review for you!  I’m a sucker for dark movies, but I thought this one–The Harvest–was worth recommending.  As someone who has trouble sitting through long movies, I found The Harvest(1hr 44min) very watchable.  From start to finish, the pacing was perfect.  I’d like to add that this movie deals with the death of one’s child, among other sensitive topics, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to that.  Even I was on edge, mouth twisted in disgust when things really started to get creepy.

A sickly boy(Charlie Tahan) is isolated from the outside and other children, “to keep his strength.”  His abusive mother(Samantha Morton) is a doctor, and mild father(Michael Shannon) a nurse.  When mounting evidence shows that the mother doesn’t truly care about the boy’s longevity, only the neighbor girl(Natasha Calis) can shine light on this dark family.  All of the characters in The Harvest are believable, with familiar dynamics that hearken to real life.  For example: the mother puts the father down by reminding him he’s just a nurse, and she an MD.  The father, conversely, resents her status as a doctor.

The movie opens with a pleasant scene: kids are playing baseball, parents yelling encouragements from the bleachers.  One kid, Bobby, is hit with the ball and flops to the ground, unresponsive.  Adults crowd around him, but you can hear a woman calling: “Please, let me through… I’m his mom. Let me through.”  Bobby is taken to hospital and saved.  His mother, relieved, thanks the doctor with a hug.  This seemingly inconsequential scene will not make sense until the very end of the movie.  Actually, I went back and watched the opening again because I had nearly forgotten it as it seemed totally unrelated.  Folks, I was wrong.  Go back and watch the beginning again if you need to: it really frames the message of the movie.


Sidenote: The Harvest is available on Canadian Netflix.

 

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