That Moment In Podcast: The Harvest (2013)

This week, Mel, David and I are talking about 2013’s The Harvest. I challenged David to find a moment in it two weeks ago and now he has. I first caught The Harvest two years ago at Fantasia Festival and it was the highlight of the festival that year. Plus, the director John McNaughton was there after a hiatus in director’s seat and returning with this psychological drama thriller and will promise to shake you up with some crazy plot twists. I was a little hesitant in watching it again whether it’d have the same effect.

In this podcast, we talk about the characters and cast. Dive with some questions we had and talk about the moment in The Harvest that is a crucial and turning point. We also highlight some other moments that impacted us.

We have more options now to listen on both Soundcloud and Youtube but also can search us up and subscribe on iTunes.

Hope you enjoy! ūüôā

Fantasia Film Festival 2014: The Harvest (2013)

I’ve put this off long enough. The Harvest was one of the later additions to my Fantasia list.

It also had the director John McNaughton hosting the movie so we had a Q&A afterwards which I stayed for, even though it was so late and a Monday night. ¬†Regardless, I sat around wondering how to write this review and the animations were just easier to write up because I knew exactly how I felt for those. Actually, its not not knowing where I stand but actually how to write it without exposing too much. I feel like there’s an aspect here where if you figured out what was going down the whole time (and I have no idea how you would), maybe the shock factor would be less and the impact would be less as well.

First, lets start with a little synopsis of The Harvest.

The HarvestDirector: John  McNaughton

Cast: Michael Shannon, Samantha Morton, Natasha Calis, Charlie Tahan, Peter Fonda

A mother and doctor, Katherine (Samantha Morton) and her husband and former nurse Richard (Michael Shannon) are bound to their home to take care of their very sick son, Andy (Charlie Tahan). ¬†They keep him under their close surveillance all the time and restrict him from going outdoors to protect him from possibly getting worse, hoping it will ease him into recover. ¬†However, when Maryann (Natasha Calis), a young girl moving in next door comes by and sneaks in to play with Andy, their friendship grows with each others company. ¬†Maryann finds her only friend in this new town that she just moved into after her parents death and Andy learns companionship that he hasn’t had before. ¬†Except, Katherine is not quite so accepting of this and finds all ways possible to prevent Maryann from coming by again. ¬†Maryann’s persistence leads to a growing resentment and challenges the control Katherine has over Andy.

The Harvest Natalie Calis

Everything starts with this situation up there. ¬†The Harvest doesn’t sound like there’s a lot going on from my synopsis. ¬†For the most part, you might even wonder if you’re just watching a drama, at least I did. ¬†Except, when the turning point happens, things really crumble really fast. ¬†Lets just say overprotective mothers are the one thing you DO NOT want to encounter especially when trying to get between them. ¬†See, thats why I stopped dating a certain type of guys. ¬†That was a joke but also true. ¬†But I do see reason in all that. ¬†I grew up with a overprotective mother as well but after I saw this, I realized its really just me who thought she was like that. ¬†I mean, one of the fun parts of watching this movie with a bunch of other people who obviously like film ¬†and have fun with these events is that at some point, some guy in the crowd yells, “Crazy bitch” and of course, everyone laughs even though its super intense. ¬†Seriously, I kept whispering that under my breath but this guy went out and said it. ¬†Very awesome ūüėČ

The Harvest

So far, this write-up is really going nowhere. ¬†One thing that is very true is that although The Harvest is slow and its like nothing really much is going on and question marks are floating around my head for a good part of the beginning because I don’t get the deal of this lady, this movie is all about dark humor. In the Q&A session, someone asked the director John McNaughton whether we were supposed to laugh during some of the parts. ¬†This is a pretty intense and serious and psychologically creepy story. ¬†Trust me, I laughed and a few others did at certain points too. I see the point as to why someone might not laugh at it because you are just sitting here tensed up but I truly think it was meant to be funny and break the intensity just a little. ¬†Anyways, he answers something really smart along the lines of how when things get really grim, its good to use some humor to balance it. ¬†I agree with that ūüôā

The Harvest

I’ve only seen Michael Shannon in a few roles before this one but he’s always been the dark roles type of guy in my mind. ¬†And thats how he is fantastic for this role. ¬†He’s not exactly in a great position: his marriage is somewhat strained because his wife doesn’t trust his abilities to care for their son and well, no one can do better for him because she is the doctor. ¬†Then, his son is sick and having a hard time recovering. ¬†You can see that he is stuck in the middle of two sides and he is trying to create a balance but he struggles to find one at the same time. ¬†He may be a bit more accepting of Maryann’s “intrusion” into their lives but he also doesn’t want to create more trouble than needed.

On the other hand, Samantha Morton is also wildly fantastic in this role. As the irrationally overprotective mom, she nails it. ¬†Every moment she’s on screen is a moment you wonder what she’ll do next because she’s unpredictable and as the movie goes along, you really have no idea how she’ll react because things get crazy and intense. ¬†Katherine is a complex character and Samantha Morton takes it and really runs with it.

The Harvest

The children in this movie, Natasha Calis and Charlie Tahan are casted pretty well also. They both have ¬†great job doing their respective roles. ¬†Charlie Tahan’s Andy is simply sickly and he really is weak and has no control over his life. ¬†Even though, he wants to achieve many things in his life, we can see his boredom and the enthusiasm and hope that Maryann brings him. ¬†On the other hand, Maryann is a great character played by Natasha Calis, she starts with a pretty grim look at life because she doesn’t want to be in this small town living with her grandparents. ¬†However, her literal breaking into Andy’s room was a pretty funny accident and one that initiates a lot of other problems as the movie progresses. ¬†Her persistence for the friendship is amazing but at the same time, her loyalty is what wins the heart of the audience. ¬†Although she makes some silly choices in my opinion, it does enhance the idea that she is just a child and she will not have well-thought out plans like adults.

The Harvest

Overall, The Harvest is a pretty good horror movie. ¬†It targets the psychological aspect of an overprotective mother and that gets way out of control really fast. ¬†Its a modern and twisted look at a classic fairy tale, is what the director calls it. I won’t tell you which one but I can totally see it. ¬†The atmosphere that John McNaughton creates is really amazing. ¬†The setting is well chosen and the cast really pulls off how the characters should act. ¬†Sure, I spent a good part of the movie not really knowing where this is going but there is no doubt that the intensity notches up exponentially as the story picks up and we really see whats going on.

The Harvest is slow, gripping, intense ride into the world of a dark and troubled family and a girl that enters into it by mistake and the discoveries she makes and the things she needs to overcome. ¬†I’m not sure how many people will appreciate it but I definitely did. ¬†When the movie ended, I really thought that John McNaughton (although I saw nothing of his before) picked a great story and chose a really good angle in portraying it the way he did.

Are you familiar with the work of Michael Shannon? John McNaughton? How about the rest of the cast? What type of horror movies are the most effective for you?

#FantasiaFest, Friends, Date Night and Fun Times! :)

Wow, this week went by really fast!

This week wasn’t exactly eventful but it did mark a few things happening and so much to be grateful about. I’m really enjoying this busy weekends and not so busy weekdays. ¬†Its nice to finally regain some form of balance in my life and any sign of negative and I just dodge it and bounce right back to being happy and positive ūüôā

Next step: getting back to my working out more regularly ūüėČ Maybe I should do my workout posts again. ¬†What do you think?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, lets see what things I have to be happy about this week ūüôā

1) FANTASIA FESTIVAL!!

Fantasia Festival has started and as I write this, I’m back from the third movie. ¬†I’m happy because I managed to get tickets for all the movies I wanted to see except one (other than the ones I had to skip because of scheduling problems). ¬†Things always work out in ¬†the end and you’ll see why. ¬†If you missed my post on the movies I bought tickets for, you can check it out HERE!

There is one movie¬†not on the list. ¬†After Joseph @ The Cinema Monster¬†dropped me a comment after seeing my lineup, he told me about two movies. ¬†One I couldn’t put into my schedule but I looked into The Harvest with Michael Shannon and decided to add that one in. ¬†Here is the trailer on the Fantasia Festival page:

http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2014/fr/films-et-horaire/80/the-harvest

A funny moment for you: I actually didn’t watch the trailer before getting the tickets and just read the plot. ¬†Lets say, I have a feeling I’m going to be pretty creeped out… ¬†I’ll tough it out though! It does look quite good ūüôā

Final tally is now 11 movies and 14 tickets! ūüôā One more movie than I expected because I just couldn’t let go of That Demon Within. ¬†Nick Cheung has really grown as an actor and anything that he’s in cannot be bad so I just couldn’t resist, what else can I say, right? I still remember him when he first started taking up stupid roles in ridiculous movies that I didn’t laugh at. ¬†He’s really changed and does more sophisticated roles and its works out a lot better (at least I think so).

I have a good space between each group of movies so expect the reviews for Open Windows, I Origins and Cybernatural and tonight’s in the next few days ūüôā

2) LEMON VERBENA & its flowers

Lemon Verbena

I may or may not have talked about before in my many gardening posts but my lemon verbena had little bug issues and thats why its now living outside for the summer. ¬†It bloomed some cute littler flowers in the middle of the week when I went for a miniature gardening maintenance run ūüôā Bug issues are completely gone and the leaves are perfect. ¬†These little victories (and some that will follow) makes me slowly grow more and more interested in this gardening business.

3) BIKE RIDE TO OLD MONTREAL WITH FRIENDS

Old Montreal

Old Montreal from the Concord Bridge

Montreal

Downtown Montreal from Concord Bridge

Saturday was a busy day and it all started at 9:30am in the morning when me and two friends started getting ready for our Old Montreal bike ride. ¬†I do one of these every year at least once. ¬†Its a really nice ride with amazing scenery that reminds me of why Montreal is actually a beautiful city when you put all the stupidity aside. ¬†This year, I had company, making it so much more fun ūüôā

Lobster Roll

Lobster Roll

And we even got to enjoy some of those pretty famous and extremely tasty lobster rolls!

4) ATTENDING A WEDDING FOR A LONG-TIME FRIEND (that I haven’t seen in a long time)

20140719_202656

20140719_202446

Weddings are a super happy event. I haven’t seen this friend in ages and being at her wedding (and the bachelorette party last weekend) makes me really honored that she thought about me enough to invite me to the happiest moment of her life. She was a beauty and a princess all ¬†night in the most elegant manner. ¬†The wedding was beautiful and it was so much fun. ¬†I saw a few people and reconnected with them, and even hit the dance floor all in good fun! The restaurant even had a window and terrasse facing the fireworks.

The couple themselves was just the symbol of love. ¬†It was also an honor to be there to witness two people completely in love with each other, go through all that they’ve gone through and finally get to this step in their life. ¬†I was so deeply moved by the event itself ūüôā

5) COMPLETING THE FIRST FLOOR

Office done with new lights also :)

Office done with new lights also ūüôā

Suffice to say that I talk a lot about my new house, but I think it comes with being a homeowner. ¬†I’m almost all moved in except for a few things but I figured that as we get things in room by room, we’re getting every step closer. ¬†The first floor is all done! We bought some new ceiling lights last week for the office (brighter than the previous owner’s) and with the natural light and everything, the office is looking lovely. ¬†Next weekend will be spending time arranging how all the furniture goes while my boyfriend will take care of the painting in the main floor and basement. ¬†The main floor will be the hard part as its a bit more colors and more tricky. ¬†Progress, my friends! That makes me happy ūüôā

6) SUCCESS WITH THE SELF-WATERING SYSTEM

raspberry plant

Raspberry is happily hydrated

Raspberry plants are like overly demanding and easily dehydrated babies. It wasn’t happy with one wine bottle full of water so I added another one. Then it still guzzles the water in exactly the same speed. At least, my baby here is blooming some flowers at the top and maybe it’ll be a champ and grow me some raspberries ūüėČ

vegetable garden

Miracle squash/zucchini growth

My mom says these are yellow zucchini so I’ll take her word for it. This baby went through a lot. ¬†Its grew from a snapped stem repaired by green tape. And then I put in a self-watering system about 10 days ago and unlike my raspberry up there with a tantrum, I came back to a sudden growth of this zucchini right there. ¬†Its telling me I love you. And I love it back because its has so many coming out. ¬†I just hope it doesn’t get tangled in its own growing vegetables. ¬†I guess when that time comes, it means it time for harvesting! YUM! ūüôā

7) THE STAR OF MY GARDEN: PURSLANE!

Purslane

Purslane in full bloom

Coming home yesterday to tend the garden, the happiest sight is to see everything going well and then my Purslane is looking very beautiful with its little pink and orange flowers brightening up my deck! ūüôā

I’m still trying to figure out what I can do with these purslane because apparently it is a herb or edible plant. ¬†I’m interested to know what use I can do with this. ¬†I’m taking it easy though.

8) LITTLE VISITORS IN MY GARDEN!

bumblebees

Bumblebees hard at work!

I haven’t put my work into my front yard. ¬†But thats starting soon. ¬†However, the previous owner’s left these rather bland looking flowers from afar but along with the fluffy fern things and my flowers and whatnot in the backyard, its attracting a lot of bees. I took a neverending weeding break to try to capture them hard at work. ¬†This is the best picture I’ve taken in a while ūüôā

9) DATE NIGHT WITH MY BOYFRIEND

Montreal

Evening sky in Montreal

My boyfriend and I work opposite schedules so we don’t see each other very often and we don’t spend too much quality time either. ¬†With the Fantasia Festival, its my way to just not sit at home and stare at my walls and just go out and have fun. ¬†Although I saw two movies by myself already, I was happy that my boyfriend agreed to see 3 of them with me. ¬†The first one starting at 9:30pm on Sunday. ¬†We drove out and was welcomed by lovely weather and a beautiful evening sky as we drove over the bridge. ¬†Romantic, eh? And made our way to see Cybernatural. ¬†He is my best movie viewing buddy because he always automatically discusses the movie with me afterwards. Its fantastic to ponder on it in my head by myself or even talk out loud to the walls or my cat but its also nice to have an answer some times.

Joking aside, we really needed a date night! He gets a break next weekend and the week after, he’s back on double duty for being my movie date ūüėČ

10) FANTASIA LUCK!

I love Fantasia Festival ever since I went last time. ¬†This time, my biggest worry was to not choose the right movies. ¬†I mean, I only chose one that sold out and it didn’t even sell out on the screening I’m going to. ¬†Either way, I remained confident with my choices. I honestly have to say that, although there was some small issues, overall, I enjoyed all of them. ¬†3 for 3 sounds like a good track record and it has be all hyped up. Last night’s was the first one where it was hosted by people related to the film. ¬†Director Leo Gabriadze and I actually think the other man was the executive producer Adam Sidman. ¬†There, they also had their supposedly first live Skype Q&A session. ¬†The first to join was the writer Nelson Greaves and producer Timur Bekmambetov. ¬†After 10 minutes or so, they even brought 3 cast members (which is pretty much half of the lot). ¬†First was the two girls, Shelley Hennig and Courtney Halverson and later, Moses Jacob Storm joined in after he resolved his technical issues. ¬†Its a pretty ingenious idea and matches how technology has really changed how certain things are done. ¬†I’ll talk more about it when I review them.

To be absolutely honest, I’m just feeling so lucky! Luck isn’t normally on my side often but I make the best of what I can. It is now and I’m enjoying every moment of it!

Things are going great, my friends! I’ve been having a blast this summer!

sunbeams

Before I leave, here’s a lovely quote I found and here’s the article you might want to check out for 15 Quotes about Life from Children’s Books!

Happy Monday, my awesome friends!