HARVEST OF THE DEAD ** UK 2015 Dirs: Peter Goddard, Sam-Mason Bell. 89 minutes
Taking a trip out into the English countryside, Amy (Fiona Fox), Melissa (Hannah Coley), Haley (Holly Ransom), and Tess (Julie Grant) a group of girlfriends, decides to spend the night camping out and telling ghost stories, unaware of the true danger awaiting them. Waking the next morning and finding one of their own missing, they split up to search for a way out only to run into a deranged killer forcing them to seek shelter with Henry Moore (Tim Faraday), a recluse living out in the woods. When it’s revealed that Moore might not be up to what he says he is, it turns into a living nightmare for the survivors.
Overall, there’s a lot to like and dislike about this one. The setup, mixing together an anthology in the early stages of a slasher film before shifting gears into those slasher elements, is a novel approach but comes off rather clumsy. The stories the girls tell around the campfire is a quite unique touch to include them but yet the setup is dropped on the first night and turns into a straightforward slasher involving the group getting lost and trying to find a way out of the woods only to stumble upon a deranged killer. Once you get past the first setup and realize that each of the segments they tell have their own positives and negatives, the last half again shifts gears into a mad doctor film involving a doctor and his deformed experiments that are running loose in the community causing all the destruction so far. This just feels so far removed from the other forces at work that it’s a bit jarring for everything to come together, making for a generally uneven watch as a whole.
Review by Don Anelli