When one thinks of an apple orchard, the first thing that comes to
mind isn't usually bloody murder and death. But in the independent
horror film Harvest Moon, the Baldini family farm is no
ordinary apple orchard. Known for producing some of the best apples
in the world, the Baldini family’s orchard had been the site of a
number of gruesome deaths. The first was the daughter of the owner,
Henry Baldini, who was ripped to shreds by wolves while playing.
Years later, the last of the Baldinis has taken over the family
farm. Young Adam Baldini (Brad Ashten) invites his girlfriend Alicia
(Karen Corona) and some of her buddies up for a weekend in the
country. Apparently going off to a remote farm 50 miles from the
nearest town to spend the weekend picking apples sounds like a good
idea and now Alicia and her friends begin to enjoy life on the farm.
That is, until they start disappearing one by one.
The idea of something stalking and killing twenty-somethings stuck
in the woods is not a new one, but writer Tyler Massey does a good
job of providing originality to the story. He offers a number of
surprises as well. The film even brings in elements of the
supernatural as characters hear ghostly voices and see apparitions
which leave the viewer wondering who or what is really behind the
killings and what purpose do they serve?
Jennifer Black learns the hard way that an apple a day
doesn't always keep the doctor...or mortician
for that matter... away
Director Brent Nowak (who is also featured in the film) does a great
job of taking Massey's story and bringing it to the screen. This
independent film doesn't suffer from some of the claustrophobic
elements that plague many indy-horror films. Nowak uses the
environment to build tension and mystery into the story, and the
orchard itself almost becomes a character as the story unfolds. The
visual effects created by Lincoln Smith are worth mentioning because
they are both well done and add to the film's eerie feel.
Overall Harvest Moon is a solid horror film that manages to be
original at a time when originality in horror is becoming harder to
find. Brad Ashten is convincingly creepy as Adam Baldini and David
Wilson is just scary as the imposing, if not too bright, farm hand
Leonard. So before you agree to spend your weekend at a remote farm
picking apples, check out Harvest Moon and then go fishing instead!