Writer: Ben Everhart (Screenplay)
Starring: Elena Caruso, Chris Conner, Jennifer Gareis, Greg Wood, Noah Headley, Accalia Quintana
Plot: To escape their marital problems, a young family travels from the city to spend the summer in Amish Country where a malevolent presence grips them. They soon discover that they were brought there for a reason and they must break free before the demonic hold consumes them.
Tagline – The solstice is coming.
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Borrows from Too Many Other Horrors
Story: The Harvesting starts when a family in need of a break from the city life, Dinah (Caruso), Jake (Conner) children, Steven (Headley) and Michaela (Quintana) move to a farmhouse in an Amish community for the summer. The community is haunted by previous events there which saw one of the Amish community Amos (Buckley) went on a killing rampage.
As the Solstice approaches the Amish community starts to warn the family to avoid the woods, as they know a evil presence can be found in them, which becomes strongest over the Solstice and when the children start seeing ghostly children around the farm, the ghost of Amos is waiting to return once again.
Thoughts on The Harvesting
Characters – Dinah is thee wife and mother of the family, she agrees to go to the country to start fresh, reconnect with her husband after her own mistake, she is the first to notice the changes her family is going through and knows she is the one that will need to protect them. Jake is a tonally confusing character, he has wanted to move away to the country for a break from the city, he wants his family to be together, but for some scenes he is growing isolated like George Lutz in Amityville Horror, the next he is the normal father figure, we just jump too often between these swings with no motivate for the swap. Steven and Michaela are the children that soon notice the problems in the farm with one capture footage, the other making friends with ghost children. Sarah is the member of the community that is willing to warn the family of the danger in the woods, after seeing its evil first hand. Amos is the Amish man that went on the killing spree, his ghost still haunts the woods searching for the next family to consume.
Performances – When it comes to the performances with have Elena Caruso in the leading role, she fills the role well without making the impact other leading ladies have made in horror, Chris Conner struggles to balance his badly written character which most actors wouldn’t be able to pull off. It would be fair to say most of the cast do struggle to make the impact required for horror.
Story – The story here follows a family in need of fixing heading off for a peaceful summer break, only to find themselves in the middle of an Amish Solstice which is known to bring out the evil in the weak. The story does borrow heavily from other films with the themes of ‘The Amityville Horror’ being the strongest to follow when it comes to the family problems and the evil trying to consume one. Mix that with the idea of a returning evil every solstice which is often used in horror for the idea of evil coming into the world. the fact this ends up with an anti-climax doesn’t help either because we did want a proper ending.
Horror – The horror in this film comes from just how the woods can bring out the evil in the people around the area, we try to have a few shock scenes which don’t pay off well enough.
Settings – The film is set in the woods around an Amish community that gets haunted by the events of the solstice, it does have an eerie feeling about it too.
Special Effects – The effects are simple enough, they aren’t needed too often without them looking out of place.
Final Thoughts –This is a by the book horror that just never reaches any high intensity levels which is required in horror and will let you down with a weak ending.
Overall: By the book horror.