One of 2023's best hidden horror gems has just been added to Prime Video
With its scary premise and eerie Halloween setting, we can see this becoming a classic for the spooky season in years to come.
Dark Harvest, a movie adaptation of the acclaimed 2006 horror novel by Norman Partridge, has been in works for many years.
In 2019, director David Slade (30 Days of Night, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) and writer Michael Gilio (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves) became attached to the project.
Then, in June 2021, casting for the film was unveiled, with the movie set to start filming that same summer.
The release of Dark Harvest was then struck with several delays, however. Initially planned to have a theatrical release in September 2021, this was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
The next September it was also set to come out, but was again pulled from the schedule.
Finally, the movie saw the light of day this month, though it only received a one day cinema release in select theatres of one specific chain in the US before hitting digital platforms.
As for the Ireland and the UK, Dark Harvest quietly dropped on Prime Video without much fanfare, which is a real shame as it is actually one of the more inventive and stylish horror movies of 2023 so far.
Dark Harvest has just been added to Prime Video
The movie is set in 1963 in a small town in the American Midwest that is under a curse that leaves each Halloween a "brutal battle for survival." This is because every year at this time, a terrifying monster called Sawtooth Jack rises from the cornfields and makes its away towards the area.
In order to defeat the creature, the adults in the town recruit the community's teenagers to hunt it down - with the winner being gifted money, prizes and a ticket out of the cursed place.
However, when two teens (Casey Likes and Emyri Crutchfield) set out on Halloween determined to destroy Sawtooth Jack, they make a series of shocking discoveries about the annual tradition.
Basically a mix of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and Rebel Without a Cause but with much more blood and head decapitations, Dark Harvest's beautifully-realised Halloween setting, its unique premise and its action-packed conspiracy-filled story make it well-worth a watch this October.
Co-starring recognisable faces like Elizabeth Reaser (The Haunting of Hill House), Jeremy Davies (Justified) and Luke Kirby (Glass), the movie has been getting positive write-ups from critics as well.
Here is a sample of some of them:
The Blogging Banshee: "Dark Harvest delivers intrigue, carnage, and an iconic monster that is sure to become a new staple each Halloween season."
Bloody Disgusting: "It may not make for requisite annual viewing, but its fearless commitment to slaughtering teens against a cozy Fall backdrop at least makes for a fun enough watch as you carve up jack-o’-lanterns."
Deep Focus Review: "Dark Harvest is a new Halloween classic—a spooky tale about folklore, tradition, and the urgent need to revolt against blind conformity."
DrumDums: "The visually stunning Dark Harvest is a great little Halloween tale with some interesting themes of family, greed, and mystery. It's all beautifully woven together with a bit of the supernatural in the small town monster."
Punch Drunk Critics: "A brutal small-town horror that strikes somewhere between Children of the Corn, The Hunger Games, and a scary story told around the campfire."
Slashfilm: "Dark Harvest is ultimately a film of style over substance, but hell, that style sure is grand."
Dark Harvest is streaming on Prime Video in Ireland and the UK right now.
- Spielberg's best movie in over 10 years is finally available to watch at home
- Netflix quietly adds 12 huge movies to its library
- Prime Video has just added 2023's best action movie
- 5 years on, this twisty Tarantino-esque crime thriller deserves a second chance
- QUIZ: Can you identify these slasher movies from just an image?
- REVIEW: Killers of the Flower Moon should get De Niro his first Oscar in over 40 years
- The Ultimate A-to-Z Quiz of The Simpsons
- Disney Plus has just added a very, very, very scary movie