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Harvest Moon (2007)
--Review by Nic Brown--

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!

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