Elizabeth Harvest

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Elizabeth Harvest
ElizabethHarvestPoster.png
Theatrical poster
Directed bySebastian Gutierrez
Written bySebastian Gutierrez
StarringAbbey Lee
Dylan Baker
Matthew Beard
Carla Gugino
Ciarán Hinds
Music byRachel Zeffira
CinematographyCale Finot
Edited byMatt Mayer
Production
companies
Automatik
Motion Picture Capital
Voltage Pictures
Distributed byIFC Films
Front Row Filmed Entertainment
Release date
  • March 10, 2018 (2018-03-10) (SXSW)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Elizabeth Harvest is a 2018 science-fiction thriller film that was written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez. The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 10, 2018 and stars Abbey Lee as the titular Elizabeth, a young woman who discovers that her new husband is hiding secrets.

Synopsis[edit]

The film opens with Elizabeth, a new bride, being brought home by her husband Henry on their wedding day. The home is palatial and staffed only by two workers, the enigmatic Claire and blind Oliver, who view her as a curiosity. Elizabeth's life is initially idyllic and Henry tells her that she can enter any room save one, located in the basement, before leaving for work. Initially entertained by clothing, jewellery, and the house's luxuries, Elizabeth's curiosity gets the better of her and she explores the forbidden room, where she discovers clones of herself. When Henry returns home he quickly surmises her deceit and murders Elizabeth. One of the clones is awoken and goes through the same experiences, differing in that she is successful in defending herself against Henry, resulting in his death. Her deceit is quickly discovered by Oliver and Claire, the latter of whom immediately suffers a heart attack and is whisked away to the hospital. Left alone with Elizabeth, Oliver blackmails her into staying by claiming that she would be quickly arrested for Henry's murder if she left and that he can only protect her if she remains. Oliver even goes as far as murdering a police officer and friend of Henry's that comes to investigate a call for help Elizabeth had made the night before, which the two claim was instead made by Claire. Aware that Henry has been creating clones but wanting to know the full truth of what went on in the house, Oliver imprisons Elizabeth in a room and forces her to read Claire's diary. Through this it's revealed that Claire and Henry were brilliant scientists who sought to clone Henry's dead wife Elizabeth. The initial attempts at cloning are unsuccessful, as the first clone is unable to remember anything and dies by what Henry claims is an accidental suffocation during her sleep. Eventually the cloning is met with limited success as the Elizabeth clones are able to retain some of the original Elizabeth's memories during the cloning process but are still childlike and innocent. Including the ones who have been killed, Henry and Claire have officially awoken five clones, the fifth being the current Elizabeth. It is also revealed that Oliver is actually a clone of Henry.

Elizabeth 5 details this to Oliver, who states that Henry blinded him out of jealousy because of the way Oliver looked at some of the other Elizabeth clones. Oliver is then seduced by Elizabeth 5 in a successful attempt to get him to lower his guard, only for a new Elizabeth clone to appear holding a shot gun. Confused and unaware of what had been going on, the new clone shoots and kills Oliver by accident. Elizabeth 5 manages to make it outside, where she is shot and killed by the new clone, only just managing to whisper something to the clone before her death. A flashback is shown depicting Henry and Claire discussing the cloning experiments. She discovers that he is now just trying to relive his wedding night and then sadistically murder the clones, which he claims is without consequence due to his real wife dying years ago. He also does not view them as real except in the moment of their death, which horrifies Claire. He tells her that her contract has been re-negotiated, which would eventually place the house and his belongings in her name so that she can continue her research. The new Elizabeth clone is then shown reading the journal, implying that Elizabeth 5's last words were for her to read the book.

The film ends with Claire returning to the house, where the clone gives her the journal, telling her to do something better with the research before leaving the house and setting out on her own.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception for the film has been mixed and the movie holds a rating of 45% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 reviews and an average of 6.2/10.[1] Multiple reviewers compared the film's storyline to the folk tale "Bluebeard",[2] with Variety praising the performances of Gugino and Lee.[3] Reviewing for RogerEbert.com, Sheila O'Malley gave the movie two stars, criticizing the movie for its slow pace.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elizabeth Harvest". Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. ^ "Review: In 'Elizabeth Harvest,' Forbidden Rooms and Stylized Mystery". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  3. ^ Leydon, Joe (2018-03-27). "SXSW Film Review: 'Elizabeth Harvest'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  4. ^ O'Malley, Sheila. "Elizabeth Harvest Movie Review (2018)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2018-08-15.

External links[edit]