Thanks to great performances, well written characters and engaging plot, The Harvest is an entertaining domestic drama that tackles the extent of parental love.

 Maryann (Natasha Calis) moves in with her grandparents after she’s orphaned. Desperately lonely, the preteen sets out to befriend a neighboring deathly ill, bed-ridden boy (Charlie Tahan), despite the outright disapproval of his mother (Samantha Morton). Maryann’s persistence pays off, however, and during a series of secret visits she gradually uncovers some seriously sinister goings-on in the house. [IFC Films]

The Harvest is a cross between “Stand By Me” and “Misery”,  entertaining as both a coming-of-age story and domestic thriller.

The cast delivers great convincing performances and features a pair of young actors that have plenty of potential. Micheal Shannon plays Richard, a good but detached father. Samantha Morton plays Katherine, a bear mom and Dolores Claiborne reincarnated. Natasha Calis plays Maryann, a tomboy yearning for a friend. Charlie Tahan plays Andy, a crippled boy struggling to have a normal childhood.

As a result, you get drawn into the story to know what will happen as they interact with each other. The narrative does a great job at developing these characters without resorting to tropes. The parents are not one-dimensionally evil and the kids have a mutual attraction that doesn’t involve sex. As the story progresses, you get a sense that there’s more to the overprotective parents while root for the kids.

The plot is filled with tension and suspense as different characters clash and team up with each other. The reveal comes as a genuine surprise because the movie does a good job at setting-up the premise.

The plot twist is conventional and the ending is too convenient, but the characters are entertaining to watch and the plot is well executed so you wouldn’t really mind.

The Harvest, which I daresay comes with one of the best red herrings in film, is a great movie for the whole family. Most of all, it presents a relatable story about the extent of parental love.

My Rating: 8/10

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