Harpoon is a gleefully twisted survival horror at its best

Photo: Harpoon.. Image Courtesy Epic Pictures and DREAD
Photo: Harpoon.. Image Courtesy Epic Pictures and DREAD /

Harpoon is the lastest from the Epic Pictures and Dread partnership. The movie has generated a lot of attention, and I’m happy to say it sticks the landing.

There has been a lot of buzz about Fantast Fest’s upcoming film, Harpoon. GQ even ranked it as one of the best horror movies of the year. I’m happy to say I’m in 100% agreement.

Harpoon is a stripped-down survival horror film that focuses entirely on its three leads. There are no other actors in the movie beyond them, and it takes place almost entirely on a yacht stranded at sea. You’ll meet Richard, Jay, and Sasha are introduced to us through an intensely violent altercation and a pithy narrator keen on dry wit.

Munro Chambers, who you may recognize from his days on Degrassi: The Next Generation, has matured into a fine young actor with a multi-layered performance that genuinely impressed me. His character, Jay, is your typical “vanilla” nice guy with a heart of gold, although he does have a few dark skeletons in his closet. But every member of this cast is excellent. This movie would hardly have worked so well were any of the trio not up to the task.

More from Horror Movies

Christopher Gray (The Mist, The Society) is Jay’s best friend, Richard, a wealthy playboy with uncontrollable rage issues. Emily Tyra (Code Black, Flesh and Bone), rounds out the cast as Sasha, Richard’s long-time girlfriend and assigned referee and mother role for the tight-knit group.

The movie begins with a violent beatdown between these supposed best friends. It kickstarts the entirety of the plot moving forward. With such a short run-time at only about 80 minutes total, Harpoon doesn’t waste a second, the pacing is perfectly timed.

Again, I return to the acting because it takes a skilled group of actors to carry a movie pared down to only three characters and three central performances.

The entire plot and action rests on their shoulders, and those of the talented narrator, Brett Gelman (Stranger Things, Mr. Mercedes). Gelman is used just enough to punctuate the pitch-black comedic moments of the movie and fill us in on the need-to-know details of the trio’s past.

Also, it’s a tribute to the film’s script and performances that I didn’t figure out how it would end. I had several ideas about where the film would head. The foreshadowing is poignant and clever. Still, I didn’t see the final twist (and there are multiple twists you’ll find along the way).

Next. 5 underrated witch movies to watch this Halloween. dark

Are you planning on watching Harpoon when it becomes available? What other horror movies are you looking forward to? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Harpoon opens in select U.S. cinemas on Oct. 4. It will be available on Blu-ray and VOD on Oct. 8 from DREAD.