Parents' Guide to

Dark Harvest

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Gory horror movie about rituals falls short on storytelling.

Movie R 2023 94 minutes
Dark Harvest Movie Poster: A figure dressed in a suit and tie, wearing a white face mask and holding a pitchfork, stands in a cornfield at night

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Not as bad as they say here.

This movie is a bit graphic. Characters get decapitated, ripped apart, and absolutely destroyed by the monster, but it's not 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 gory. There is a fair bit of bloodshed, though. When a character is ripped to shreds it's usually dark and gore won't be very noticeable, but blood sprays and little bit and can occasionally be seen puddled on the ground. It definitely has some cursing, include f--k, s--t, ass, damn, etc. There is one use of nuts when a character says they will "kick someone's nuts" (will usually be irrelevant to kids if they don't know nuts means testicles). There's kissing, but nothing more sexual than that. I think a mature enough preteen/early teen can watch it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

It might be worth catching up on the novel by Norman Partridge that this horror movie is based on to fill in some blanks, since whatever ended up on screen is total nonsense. Dark Harvest is meant to evoke tales like Shirley Jackson's legendary short story "The Lottery" and films like The Wicker Man, The Hunger Games, Midsommar, and The Purge, essentially challenging people's unquestioned devotion to tradition. But the actual deadly ritual in the story is full of holes, with many frustrating questions unanswered. How is Sawtooth Jack actually created? Are there supernatural forces at work? How can he move and still have candy stuffed inside of him? Why are the boys starved for three days before The Run? (There's a painful montage of screaming boys to illustrate this.) When The Run actually begins, where are they all running to? Why doesn't Richie have any marks on his face after being brutally beaten up? Does anybody wonder why Jim just drove away and never came back? What is life really like for a young Black woman, virtually alone in a town full of White people, in 1963? These and other frustrating queries just stack up over the course of the movie, distracting viewers from whatever story is there -- and there's not much. The only saving grace in Dark Harvest is Luke Kirby as obnoxious local police officer Ricks, who's cranked all the way up to 10 the entire time. Kirby seems to have put some thought and energy into his work, and it shows. Too bad he was the only one.

Movie Details

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