Aki Vs. Evil: Harpoon

Found this on a list of best horror movies on Rotten Tomatoes. Is it that good? No, but it is good enough to watch.

Spoilers.

Richard attacks his best friend, Jonah, apparently out of the blue, but it turns out that Richard is accusing Jonah of having an affair with his girlfiend, Sasha, who is there to stop the attack. Turns out they had been talking behind his back in order to buy him a birthday present. The three leave on a daytrip on a boat to celebrate that birthday, where it turns out that the had actually had sex and were now conspiring to kill him. Instead, they all end up stranded in a non-functioning boat in the ocean trying to survive the best they can under the conditions they are in.

Red Letter Media often bring out the fact than many low budget movies are often based on just what the movie makers had access to. This feels just like that. They had a boat, so they made a movie around it. Most of the movie is just these three actors. Besides them, there’s only the narrator and a few actors in flashback scenes where there are other actors depicting other people stranded in ocean.

There’s a lot of maritime lore here: Of course Jonah as a name carries a lot of baggage, but Richard happens to be Richard Parker, a name which also has a history, which is explained in the movie with a lot of detail. (In short: Richard Parker was a character from Poe’s only novel, who was eaten on a lifeboat by other sailors, and there was a real similar case later on with someone with the same name, as well as Life of Pi using that name for that very reason.) Then there’s the redhead on board…

The problem with the movie is that it can’t really maintain a tone. When Richard is beating the shit out of Jonah early in the movie, that is supposed to be funny, and it sort of is, but not really. It’s not the kind of violence we can easily distance ourselves from, so it’s hard to laugh at. Later in the movie the comedy is largely carried by the narrator, which in itself should be telling. If your story can’t carry the fun, but someone has to come in and add that on top of it, then there’s a problem here. There just isn’t much levity in starving people.

Still, it’s worth a watch, if you are so inclined. It really isn’t a masterpiece waiting to be found, but it is a pretty good low budget film and, personally, that is a reason to see it in itself. You know, support those independent minds.

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