Horror fans have it good in the year 2019. There are countless boutique labels putting out tons of films, from the most popular to the most obscure. The biggest fish in this sea of genre films are of course Arrow Video, Scream Factory, Vinegar Syndrome, and a handful of others. There are other companies pumping out some great stuff, however; Ones that don’t make as much noise, but perhaps should. The latest film presented by Dread is clearly evidence of this. The picture I am speaking of is Rob Grant’s Harpoon.
After a violent misunderstanding, three best friends set out for a day trip on a fancy yacht. Some dark secrets quickly emerge, however, causing the three to now be stranded in the middle of the Atlantic. With no food, no water, and no supplies, the best friends-turned-rivals must now survive each other in the harshest conditions.
Like many times before, Harpoon is a film that came out of left field for me personally. Other than seeing a couple of random posts on social media about other reviewers receiving early copies, I had no idea this film even existed.
Still, I became intrigued, simply due to the fact that I’ve seen some pretty great stuff coming from the people at Dread in the past.
Harpoon, while resembling other films in certain aspects, is nothing like I’ve seen before. There are elements of black comedy, most of which can be credited to our lovely narrator, actor/comedian Brett Gelman (The Other Guys, “Stranger Things”), survival horror, psychological horror, and even a few more sub-genres thrown in for good measure.
No true “games” are played among the three main characters, Sasha, Jonah, and Richard, but I still couldn’t help but pickup strong vibes akin to the ones felt during films like Would You Rather? and Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare.
As Harpoon‘s 82 minutes progress, different levels of horror quickly approach. With our characters stranded in the middle of the ocean with seemingly no hope of rescue, their true colors emerge quickly and fiercely, as their deepest and darkest secrets can’t help but to surface.
The main cast, consisting of Emily Tyra (Flesh and Bone), Munro Chambers (Turbo Kid), and Christopher Gray (“The Mist” television series), are a powerhouse trio who are put through the emotional ringer during Harpoon‘s entirety. These friends have been through a lot together, but it is clear that they have all been harboring some pretty strong feelings towards one another for quite some time. All three performers played their parts beautifully and I have instantly become a fan of them all.
Cycling through bouts of furious hatred, giddy laughter, and, eventually, unbridled terror, the characters [and the actors portraying them] of Harpoon are a huge reason why this movie works so well.
The true horror comes from the fact that, in a situation as dire as this, any group of even the closest friends could implode just as this one has. Even after growing up with someone, you never know their true colors, until it is possibly too late…
Harpoon at Home
Harpoon is available now on Blu-ray from Epic Pictures and Dread. The region free home release presents the film in a 1:85 aspect ratio and features English 5.1 surround sound and English stereo 2.0 audio tracks, along with optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
This 2019 Blu-ray also features tons of bonus material, including multiple commentary tracks with cast and crew, deleted scenes, trailers, and more.
Watching films that you know nothing about, not even a simple plot rundown, is always risky. You can’t judge a book [or movie] by its cover, but I’ve gotten lucky this time around, with Harpoon.
The tension is palpable right from the start and only increases as the film rolls on. There are moments of intense suspense, some pretty funny sequences that provide levity when necessary, and, perhaps most importantly, scenes of extreme violence.
Harpoon provides bloody fun, with about 99.9% practical special effects, and should really be seen by all horror fans. It is vicious more often than not and writer/director Rob Grant pulls no punches when it comes to getting his hands messy with the red stuff horror fans love to see flowing in their films.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of Harpoon today, as I give it 4.5 har… spear guns out of 5.