Elizabeth Harvest (2018) – Film Review
Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Cast: Abbey Lee, Ciaran Hinds, Carla Gugino
by Roger Crow / @RogerCrow
For reasons which soon become apparent, this is one of those movies that seems to start in the middle of a scene, like the viewer has suddenly materialised at a house party and hasn’t got a clue where they are or who anyone is. It’s not a bad way to start a film, but due to the structure, it’s easy to be reminded of a couple of other superior offerings: Ex Machina and Moon.
It centres on newlywed Elizabeth (Abbey Lee), who arrives with her genius scientist husband Henry (Ciarán Hinds) at his magnificent estate. She’s blown away by his lavish dinners and loves the property. Who wouldn’t? This is like one of the better episodes of Grand Designs; Kevin McCloud would be rubbing his hands with glee.
While the house staff, Claire (Carla Gugino) and Oliver (Matthew Beard), treat the new arrival deferentially, Liz can’t shake the feeling something is off. The boffin explains that everything in his world now belongs to her, and she can do what she likes EXCEPT nose around a locked-off room which he forbids her from entering.
Naturally that’s the first thing she wants to do, and when he goes away for business, Elizabeth decides to investigate.
What unfolds after that point may leave some rolling their eyes, but while the plot may be a little derivative, the film looks terrific, and boasts a great cast. Hinds is always good value for money, and a lot more recognisable here than as the CG bad guy in Justice League. Abbey Lee is on good form as the waif like trophy wife, and I will happily watch any movie with Carla Gugino, even when it’s as bad as San Andreas.
She’s worked with director Sebastian Gutierrez several times before. Little wonder as they’re an item, but though she is always excellent, this is sadly a case of style over substance, like Abbey Lee’s previous movies, The Neon Demon, Gods of Egypt and The Dark Tower.
If you like easy-on-the-eyes thrillers, then settle back and enjoy. But don’t be too surprised if you feel a little disappointed by the time the closing credits roll.