Horror television has a tendency to be stale. Slasher themed shows often end up being a dull and lifeless nightmare. There’s no doubt the odds were against “Harper’s Island” in terms of if it was going to be any good. Surprisingly enough, the show kicked a copious amount of ass for what it was. It’s too bad not many people tuned in to see it. Now that “Harper’s Island” is on DVD, it’s your chance to make up for some lost time.
Sheriff Charlie Mills (Beaver) has a problem. A maniac named John Wakefield (Rennie) has slaughtered many of the residents of his normally sleepy little island, including Mills’ wife. After a showdown that resulted in what we think is Wakefield’s death, Mills sends his daughter Abby (Cassidy) away from all her friends, and even her boyfriend Jimmy (Thomason). Many years later she returns for the wedding of her best friend Henry (Gorham) to one of the daughters of the island’s richest family, the Wellingtons. Of course, upon her arrival, bodies start dropping and the mystery starts boiling over. Is Wakefield back? Is he alone? Is it a copycat? “Harper’s Island” does a great job of keeping you guessing until the end.
One of the things that really surprised me was how much violence they were able to get away with on a network program. Bodies are burned, harpooned, diced, chopped, and generally mangled with reckless abandon. Two of the show’s more juicier moments show up on this set’s deleted scenes along with a bit more exposition and some steamy PG-13 rated sex. If only this racier content was edited in. Still, it’s good to see what we missed.
Other special features include various making-of featurettes and commentary tracks on select episodes. All are fun, but other than the deleted scenes, the real gems in this package are the Harper’s Globe webisodes. They fill out the story rather well and have some genuinely creepy moments to them. My only complaint is the lack of a “play all” option.
“Harper’s Island” is the perfect way to pass a rainy afternoon or just get away from all the crap that populates our TV’s now. If you missed it once, you have no more excuses … check it out for a good yet wickedly evil time!
3 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
Discuss “Harper’s Island” in our Dread Central forums!