Elizabeth Harvest is a 2018 American science fiction horror film written, produced and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez (Rise: Blood Hunter; writer of Snakes on a Plane; The Eye; Gothika). The movie stars Abbey Lee, Carla Gugino, Ciarán Hinds, Matthew Beard, and Dylan Baker.
Newlywed Elizabeth (Abbey Lee) arrives with her brilliant scientist husband Henry (Ciarán Hinds) to his magnificent estate, where he wows her with lavish dinners and a dazzling tour of the property. The house staff, Claire (Carla Gugino) and Oliver (Matthew Beard), treats her deferentially but she can’t shake the feeling something is off.
Henry explains that everything in his world now belongs to her, all is for her to play in — all except for a locked-off room he forbids her from entering. When he goes away for business Elizabeth decides to investigate and finds she may not be who she thinks she is at all…
” …the film contains far too many twists, turns, exposition scenes, ideas, themes, and pretensions. While Gutierrez must be commended for his directing job, his script is a whole other story. But at least the film is rated R for “bloody violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and some language.” And it earns that rating. Thank God, for at least that.” Mike Sprague, Arrow in the Head
” …so much of the second half consists of nearly-nonstop exposition that it can become oppressive. It’s a complicated tale—so much so that a character literally finds a journal that explains it in one of the more unique ways to convey exposition in a while—but I found myself less hooked on the twists and turns and more engaged in the imagery and the filmmaking.” Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
“Bluebeard taps into some pretty primal fears, and these elements are presented in a highly literal way. There’s no room for the metaphoric, the emotional or symbolic. Ex Machina created a mood where issues of identity, womanhood, personhood, could be explored, all the things present in the original story. Elizabeth Harvest instead explains its own plot. This is a tough slog at 105 minutes.” Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com
“Elizabeth Harvest as an autonomous story may have too feeble legs to stand on its own, its richness springs from the references and myths weaved into the flat tragic story of the central couple. The kinky melodrama appropriates and mediates more archetypes and myths than meet the eye.” Martin Kudlac, Screen Anarchy
“During its first ten minutes, Elizabeth Harvest is so tediously mannered, and lead player Abbey Lee’s performance is so listlessly affected, that an urge to bail is well-nigh irresistible. But then writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez pulls the rug and the floorboards right out from under you…” Joe Leydon, Variety
“Gutierrez aims for the slow-burn build rather than terrifying tension, but his deliberate pacing turns the film into more of a cold intellectual puzzle than a tense thriller. Comparisons to Alex Garland’s Ex Machina are inevitable: both feature predatory men holding women hostage in hermetic, high-tech, gorgeously sterile homes…” Tasha Robinson, The Verge
Automatik Entertainment-Motion Picture Capital-Voltage Pictures
IFC Midnight released Elizabeth Harvest in theaters in New York and Los Angeles and also On Demand on August 10, 2018.