[FANTASIA] ‘HARPOON’ IS A BLOODY FANTASTIC COMEDY OF ERRORS

Harpoon is a brilliant horror-comedy that will make you laugh, cringe, and shout as you are thrown around the turbulent seas of a friendship gone bad.

HARPOON

Writer and Director: Rob Grant
Starring: Munro Chambers, Emily Tyra, Christopher Gray, Brett Gelman
Music: Michelle Osis
Cinematography: Charles Hamilton
Studio: 775 Media Corp

“We need to make a deal!”
“What deal?!?”
“We promise … not to kill each other.”

A group of friends decide to go on a yacht for a much needed cool-down after Richard (Christopher Gray) accuses his friend Jonah (Munro Chambers) of sleeping with his girlfriend Sasha (Emily Tyra). It’s all a bad misunderstanding of course; those text messages that Richard came across had to do with the birthday gift Jonah and Sasha got for Richard: a harpoon spear gun. Except it also has everything to do with Jonah sleeping with Sasha. The day-trip getaway turns into a fight for survival as friends turn into enemies, harpoons spear guns are pointed, and — to add the cherry on top — the ship’s engine is dead. Will the friend-circle-turned-love-triangle be able to survive the high seas?

This movie is simply brilliant. The story itself is worthy of putting the Cohen brothers at the helm … but perhaps they might not have made the film as streamlined as the 120-minute version we are graced with. The stage is set very quickly with a voice-over narrator (a job effectively done by Brett Gelman of Stranger Things) telling us about Aristotle’s three types of friends and saying there should be a fourth type: that friend with whom you have a history and keep around “just because.” That idea plays out almost immediately as Richard shows up to destroy Jonah’s face just as Sasha is arriving to clear up the mess. As the story goes on, all relationships dissolve faster than chum in a shark tank.

We get down to the nitty-gritty within the first 20 minutes of the film. Lots of blood and lots of insults and accusations hurl across the screen, and we don’t waste time getting to the survival-game aspect of the movie. As the film progresses, it calms down to lots of clever dialogue before the tumultuous finale. It plays out like a ship caught suddenly by a storm, followed by an eerie and helpless calm that comes with the now-disabled vessel. It drags slightly, but at the same time, the dialogue carries us through and the damning secrets of the characters’ past add a lot more for the audience to feed on.

The actors do a tremendous job with the characters they are given. Munro Chambers has a sort of Casey Affleck vibe and convincingly plays the scorned, third-wheel friend who wants more. Emily Tyra handles the tension of being the unfortunate woman in the middle of all the conflict. And Christopher Gray handles the douchebag-daddy’s-boy-spoiled-rich-kid role perfectly.

This movie also has the perfect blend of gore, tension, drama, creep-factor, and comedy. It draws from an obvious nod to Edgar Allan Poe and folklore and benefits from doing so. There are several legitimate laugh-out-loud moments — some of them brought by the never waste-of-your-time voiceover narration rabbit trails — and the twists are sure to throw you overboard. I legitimately did not see the revelations that came toward the end, and just when I thought the ending started to take a predictable turn, the final moments of the movie drew an audible “Oh my gosh” from me.

It’s really hard to think of anything wrong with this movie. This movie is a must-watch for fans of horror and dark comedy alike.

HARPOON

9.5

Nod to Poe

10.0/10

Perfect Blend of Horror and Comedy

10.0/10

Dialogue to Carry the Middle

8.5/10

Complicated Relationships

10.0/10

It's A Speargun, Not a Harpoon

9.0/10

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