Friday 18 October 2019

HARPOON review

When three friends take a boat trip to celebrate one of their birthdays, things take a drastic turn when rivalries and long held resentments soon rise to the surface and they have to find a way to work together in order to survive. One of the surprise hits of this year's Frightfest, Rob Grant's Harpoon has now premiered on the Arrow Video Channel.

The tone of the film is set out early on, thanks to the irreverent voice-over provided by Fleabag and Stranger Things actor Brett Gelman. Although this has obvious elements of horror throughout, the story is told in a comic fashion (as can be seen in the trailer above), with its set up and limited locale milked for all its worth. At the top of the film we meet Jonah (Turbo Boy's Munro Chambers), his best friend Richard ( Christopher Gray) and his girlfriend and object of Jonah's affection, Sasha (Emily Tyra). After Jonah and Sasha purchase Richard a harpoon for his birthday, all three of them head out to sea on Richie's pleasure boat "The Naughty Buoy" to test it out, only for secrets to rock the boat and have all three passengers fending off verbal and physical attacks from the other two.

Made with no major stars and on a minuscule budget, although it's a shame this slice of nautical nastiness won't get a proper theatrical run, it's something of a 'get' for Arrow to release on their platform as there's plenty in Harpoon that should see it sail into the minds of genre fans. Gender and class politics, unrequited love, the drinking of seagull blood and the nastiest looking arm injury this side of Green Room; it's all here. There's also plenty of double-crossing to keep you guessing and, despite the cast being likeable and watchable enough, there's enough flaws evident in their characters that should any of them not survive the ordeal, there's a feeling that they probably deserved it.

In its pared back, adrift in the Atlantic, close quarters setting Harpoon provides a thoroughly effective and claustrophobic little thriller, and something different to the danger coming from the water as you might expect. In fact, the only jaws you'll see here will be the audience's hitting the deck as we reach the gory, shocking finale. Prepare to feel a little queasy.


HARPOON will be available on the ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL (and also Amazon Prime and Apple TV) from 18th October

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