HARPOON - "The Blackest of Comedy"

We’ve all been in the situation where we’re invited to an after hours work gathering or a family get together that encourages you to bring along a friend. And we all have at least one particular friend, whether it be their attitude or sense of humor, you know that you absolutely CAN NOT take them with you. We’ll say that they are a little too real for their own good.

If you can’t relate to that, well then, YOU are that person. Please, do your friends a favor and tone it down a little, alright?

And that brings me to "Harpoon", the latest film from Rob Grant. A film that proclaims itself to be a horror comedy, that like your friend who can’t keep it together in a crowd, soon reveals itself to not just be a horror comedy but the most pitch black comedy that I can remember seeing in recent years. There are none more black.

The film begins with three friends, Jonah, Sasha and Richard, who have recently been at odds because Richard suspects Sasha of cheating on him with Jonah, and allows his temper to get the best of him – leaving Jonah a bloody pulp. But once it’s revealed that their suspicious behavior was all in arranging a secret birthday gift for him, an antique and very titular harpoon, Richard quickly apologizes. To help smooth things over Richard hosts an afternoon boat trip to share a few drinks together on the open water and to put the whole ordeal behind them. This is just the beginning of their strife.

Richard can’t shake off the suspicious feeling that Sasha and Jonah are still keeping something from him. His insistence escalates to a flurry of violence that results in a harpoon wound and attempted murder. Or to be more specific, an attempt to allow accidental death once Richard has been knocked unconscious and then placed precariously close to the edge of the boat in hope that he accidentally (with air-quotes) falls overboard.

All of this drama ends in a tenuous truce between friends that is exacerbated, again, when Richard tries to take the boat back to shore. They are shocked to discover that the boats engine won’t start. The trio are now stranded off the coast without food and water for days.

Here is where the comedy dies off and the horror makes it's presence known.

As hunger and dehydration set in, the friends become more and more desperate to survive. Their suspicions nag at them and soon they start to pull each other apart, revealing that their friendship was little more than a vale used to conceal each of their deep dark secrets.

To avoid giving too much away, I'll leave it at that. But understand that the film gets much darker from there.

I have to say that "Harpoon" really caught me by surprise. The trailer left me hopeful, but not entirely sold on the concept carried out with so little in the way of cast and location. It takes a talented filmmaker to make so much with so little and Rob Grant manages to pull it off – with more than a little help from Munro Chambers, Emily Tyra and Christopher Gray who were each fantastic.

In the hands of a lesser writer and director "Harpoon" may have devolved into a generic slasher movie set on a boat. But instead, "Harpoon" is rich with character and back story which slowly adds to the tension and the danger as the film reaches it's climax.

The film also sports a bit of narration throughout which adds some nautical myth and superstition to the mix, further adding moments of foreboding and mystique to the unfortunate situation that these three find themselves in. No one knows exactly why it's bad luck to have a redheaded woman aboard a ship, but you had better believe that that old superstition, among others, will prove itself true by the end of "Harpoon".

To reiterate an earlier point, "Harpoon" is that edgy friend we all have who WILL stand out in a crowd, and rightfully so. "Harpoon" is tense. It's dark. It's hilarious.

"Harpoon" is currently available on Blu-ray and all major VOD platforms from the fine people at Epic Pictures. Check it out!


★ ★ ★ ★

"Rivalries, dark secrets, and sexual tension emerge when three best friends find themselves stranded on a yacht in the middle of the ocean desperate for survival."