27th Mar2019

‘Elizabeth Harvest’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Abbey Lee, Ciarán Hinds, Carla Gugino, Matthew Beard, Dylan Baker | Written and Directed by Sebastian Gutierrez

elizabeth-harvest-uk-art

As much as I love big budget sci-fi movies, there’s some great, much smaller budgeted, movies in this genre. I’ve always found that the best independent sci-fi movies are ones that come up with brilliant, creative and original ideas that work with very little money… And Elizabeth Harvest fits into this category nicely.

But don’t be thinking that this looks awful. As is proven again and again with indie movies, there is no excuse for them to look bad and Elizabeth Harvest looks like it has a much higher budget than it actually does. The camera work and cinematography are as good as, if not better, than some of the top sci-fi movies of the year.

Like the best sci-fi, Elizabeth Harvest has a complicated story that is made pretty simple for the average movie watcher (like myself). It mixes ideas that you will have seen before with a few new ones and creates something completely original. At least to my eyes. Unfortunately it is something that I don’t want to talk about too much because it would spoil the film massively. But a woman (unsurprisingly – Elizabeth) marries a man (Henry) and we see her enter their house for the first time. It immediately seems slightly odd that this is the first time Elizabeth has seen the house. From here we see Henry show and explain to her that everything here is hers but there is one room that she cannot enter, and no real reason is given. Elizabeth obviously takes the first opportunity she has to get inside that room. But Henry is not stupid and soon finds out. And that’s when the film gets really good.

My interest levels immediately got higher and the early reveal is actually a smart move. Because it’s not the big twist I was expecting and you soon realise it is just the tip of the iceberg. The director cleverly gives you enough information to keep you intrigued but not enough that everything is sorted in that first half an hour. The tension is really good because of this too. Elizabeth Harvest almost switches genres a few times throughout its run time as well, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats and continuously guessing at what will happen next.

There’s some good casting choices here too. Experienced actor Ciaran Hinds plays Henry in a role that isn’t quite as prominent as I first thought it would be and his performance is more subtle than I expected but he does get a few moments to shine and show his experience. Abbey Lee plays the lead role and despite having much less experience she seems to revel in the role. Despite little in her movie C.V. she has acted on some huge movies – Mad Max: Fury Road, Gods of Egypt, The Neon Demon, The Dark Tower and more – so she is clearly well thought of. And if Elizabeth Harvest is anything to go by she will have much bigger lead roles in the future. She gets to show off all her acting skills with a great character who evolves as the film goes. At first Elizabeth seems a bit of a ‘bimbo’ but by her last scene she is like a classic horror final girl.

Elizabeth Harvest not only has great ideas but it manages to produce these ideas on a small budget. This is a brilliantly original sci-fi movie that horror fans will love and one that you will want to re-watch again and again

**** 4/5

Elizabeth Harvest will be available on Digital Download from 1st April and can be pre-ordered on iTunes here

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