27th Oct2020

Frightfest 2020: ‘Blood Harvest’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Hannah Emily Anderson, Catherine Walker, Jared Abrahamson, Sean McGinley, Jessica Reynolds, Don McKellar, Geraldine O’Rawe, Anna Cummer, David LeReaney, Tom Carey | Written and Directed by Thomas Robert Lee

Folklore horror is an interesting sub-genre for fans. With the release of The Witch the bar was set high for “witchcraft” films that came after it to hit. This is often unfair as many don’t really deserve to be compared to the film. This is somewhat the case of Blood Harvest.

A devout community find themselves plagued by bad luck, dying animals and dying animals they feel cursed. Is the person to blame Audrey Earnshaw (Catherine Walker) the daughter of an outcast of the village?

The reason I say that it is unfair to compare Blood Harvest with The Witch is that they are two separate beasts. Where The Witch focuses on the destruction of a family by forces that may or may not be there, Blood Harvest never hides it’s focus. This is about a witch and the evil that she does on the community.

It is also important to look at what we see as a witch in this movie. Not to spoil Blood Harvest, the main character is something special and that is revealed throughout the movie. It is also questionable though as to how innocent the rest of the villagers are in their plight. Audrey is a hidden character and her mother an outcast from the community she should be a part of. More is revealed as to why, but the main outcome is, much of what Audrey does is a result from the mistreatment of her mother at the hands of the villagers.

For fans of folklore horror Blood Harvest will be a fun and well acted film, but in comparison to others (and not just The Witch) it does feel a little light with more of an impact on quick paced horror rather than the slow style you would normally see in this style. I would like to have seen more of a focus on the fact the villagers are guilty of “sins” too, but this isn’t a film that wants to do that.

What we have with Blood Harvest though is an entertaining and at times strange film that feels outside of a relatable time. This isn’t a horror set in the 1600’s for example, it is more modern day (1973), we even see evidence of that with planes flying above, and characters reacting to them. This is a community that has pulled itself away from the world and lives within it’s own bubble of superstition. Which in the end may be the reason it suffers as it does.

I’d say that Blood Harvest may not be to everybody’s taste, but if you go into it looking to be entertained and don’t expect something too heavy, then you’ll actually enjoy what you see. It’s not going to be a film that stays with you for long, but for the time you watch it, it’s a well acted and entertaining horror that is worthy of your time.

***½  3.5/5

Blood Harvest screened on Saturday October 24th as part of this months Frightfest Digital Edition.


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