Thursday, February 4, 2016

Harvest Lake (2016)

Harvest Lake (2016)
d:  Scott Schirmer
starring:  Jason Crowe, Tristan Risk, Ellie Church, Dan Nye, Kevin Roach, Lucretia Lynn, Derek Sturgeon
format:  Blu-Ray Limited Edition

(out of 5)

The Movie:  Wow!  What a creepy erotic ride over the lake and through the woods!  This movie really keeps you guessing and shrouded in mystery the whole film.  I mean maybe it's because I went in fresh and knew nothing about it other than it stars Ellie Church, Jason Crowe, was directed by Found's Scott Schirmer and was shot and edited by Brian K. Williams.  I grabbed a pre-order copy through the crowdfund and this was one instance where every penny was worth it!  Lots of great everything from fx to the acting.  I'm a huge fan of Brian Williams and Ellie Church so I knew going in I would at least appreciate it for them but did not expect how much I would enjoy this movie.  Scott Schirmer has blown the doors off again.  I thought Found was an original well directed independent project.  I wasn't expecting anything that happened in Harvest Lake, to be honest I thought it was some sort of slasher film....gladly wrong.  
The Acting:  As I said I'm a huge fan of Ellie Church, very much impressed with her acting overall and this movie was no different.   Jason Crowe's performance especially his paranoia towards the end was directly on point.  Tristan Risk nailed her character and the unusual um changes she goes through during the movie which I cannot and won't get into and spoil everything.  All the actors in this were amazing and all of them had to show their range of ability and when you see the film for yourself you'll know exactly what I mean.  Lastly the sexual passion conveyed by the actors in this one was excellent.  As a person who is usually bored with sex scenes in most films I was definitely not here.  I find them boring because 90% of those I've seen since forever are unconvincing and to me just better left out in serious films such as this if you catch my meaning.  Always seem clumsy and off, not in Harvest Lake. 

The Gore/FX:  Some really crazy visual and practical fx going on as the film progresses past the point of introducing our characters.  Sort of a surreal atmosphere created by one hell of a talented team of fx people.  It starts in the woods and extends into the cabin and even the lake.  Quality effects such as these are rare in the independent world and I loved every minute of it.  Great work Arthur Cullipher whose listed as the fx supervisor and Dustin Mills who is listed under Visual FX.
The Shots:  Felt like I was standing on the bank of the lake in a couple key scenes.  The shooting was just spectacular.  Not sure what kind of camera was used but the tiny waves over the lake were just stunning.  Kudos to Scott Schirmer and Brian Williams, gorgeous movie start to finish.
The Music:  Yeah the sounds and score of the movie just pull you inside it's weirdness from the get go.  Loved this aspect of the movie because it just further dropped me into the mystery of what was going on. 

The Script:  Starts off like a casual weekend for five friends at Harvest Lake in celebration for a birthday.  The strong relationships of friends and couples are obvious within the dialogue, nothing cheesy or unnatural here.  In comes a friend of a friend who picks up his cue for what may or may not be a one night stand.  Lots of sex and fun is had but what is going on in the forest and in the lake?  Continues to keep the viewer in the dark once the craziness begins.  Liked the addition of some strong gay characters which sadly is something you hardly ever see in any filmmaking. 

The Rating:  I cannot recommend this movie any higher than 5 Bloody Handprints.  Sexual, bizarre, and just plane what the f***.  I realize my review is vague but I really want my fellow viewers to see most of it for themselves and go in as I did with little knowledge.  Reminded me of something David Cronenburg would have created is the only way to describe it in comparison to anything else I've seen. 

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