Harper’s Island – Episode 1
Body Count: 2
Now this is something you don’t see every day month year ever, a TV slasher series. Messiah kinda dipped its toes into the water, but Harper’s Island appears to be – on the evidence of the first episode – an out n’ out stalk-a-slash-a-hack-a-kill-a-thon.
OK, so episode one, entitled Whap, wasn’t actually that engaging, but it was adequate enough to beckon me back like some strange noise I heard coming from the shed one rainy night…
The titular island is reportedly 37 miles off the coast of Seattle where some dude killed a dozen or so people a few years earlier. It’s also the place where loved-up younguns Henry (guy who played, uh…Henry in Ugly Betty) and Trish (Katie Cassidy from the Black Christmas “remake”) want to get married and so invite their respective family and friends for the occasion, which looks like it’s going to take more than a couple of days. Good luck getting time off work.
Amongst the attendees is Abby (Elaine Cassidy – who reminds me of Maddy from Friday the 13th Part VII), whose mom was one of the murder victims and who hasn’t returned to Harper’s Island since. Read: the final girl. She’s Henry’s friend from childhood. Trish’s family are mega-super-rich and her Dad (Richard Burgi) doesn’t seem happy about her betrothment (!?) to former yacht-scrubber Henry and might have plans to ensure the wedding never happens.
Never mind mate, someone’s already trimming the guest list – bwa-ha-haaaa!!! Yes, the uncle who never shows is strapped to the propeller shaft beneath the boat that takes the group to the cursed isle and so goes head first into the blades as they launch – and of course, on a boat taking some forty people out to sea, not one person looks over the stern and says “ew, Cindy, like where did that blood come from?”
Various characters are introduced, who range from witless guests, family, a creepy-ass kid, evident red herrings, island dwellers who all know about Abby and one totally off-screen serial killer who dispenses with another poor schmuck before the end of the episode. It’s frankly too soon to guess who or even why, but you can bet your ass it’s something to do with the murders of olde and the rich family. We shall see… uh, unless it gets cancelled as Stateside it’s already been shifted to a rubbish weekend night slot. However, as all thirteen episodes have been shot, hopefully it’ll play out.