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"Harper's Island"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Harper's Island" More at IMDbPro »

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103 out of 152 people found the following review useful:

Will watch no matter what else is on!

Author: TeamAhsimlovesSandwiches from Norway
11 May 2009

OK, so obviously not everyone has the same taste in movies and TV series as I do, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I for one enjoy this show immensely! I think it's well directed, I like most of the characters, and those I don't like I love to hate.

Yes, there is less blood and gore than in your average horror show, but why bother with all that stuff when you can create the same suspense with well-planned plots and thorough story lines? You never know who is going to get murdered, when it will happen or who will find them, and everyone is as likely to be a suspect as anyone else... I love it! I think the casting crew has done a great job in selecting the actors, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season. I don't care WHAT else is on TV, I'm not missing a single episode! (Unless there is a Supernatural-special running at the same time ;o) )

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68 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

It starts good, it's going down big time!

Author: paris-23
27 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was at first intrigued watching a Friday the 13th-inspired show which starts straight to the point unlikely the majority of other shows with all the flash backs and all the boring "knowing the character" endless introductions until something actually happens. Although, once the action starts -which is very very soon- I can't help it but wonder why are all the characters so powerless and , to put this as polite as i could, are only capable of such a low IQ score.excuse me, but if a killer is out there with a knife, and six of you have guns, well you shoot the bastard, you don't run away!!! plus, what kind of a distraction is to create to set a car on fire to the same direction you 're running to???you might as well shout "kill me!over here!" .I get the feeling that the writer run out of ideas very quickly and just filled the massive holes created in his script with the stupidest solutions whatsoever.I feel dumber now that I have watched this.You will too.

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73 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

The most frustrating, incoherent, mess of a show EVER.

Author: peng88 from United States
14 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Clever! Witty! Beautifully written! Emotionally satisfying! Coherent! these are descriptions that do not apply to Harper's Island.

When Harper's Island began we quickly came to the conclusion that it was silly, shallow and a waste of a great idea. We kept watching because; A.) there really was nothing else on, and B.) because we wanted to know how they were going to explain everything.

If anything characterizes Harper's Island it's stupidity. Stupidity in the writing, (and silliness-what the hell was all that supernatural stuff that was jettisoned pretty quickly) in character's actions and motivations, and especially in any scene with the little girl. (who apparently was a reject from THE SIXTH SENSE PART DUEX!)

About the third episode we noticed a definite improvement. The acting was more sincere, there was some subtlety and some humor. For a few episodes it looked like it might actually turn out to be something worthwhile. Something closer to Agatha Christie than slasher movies. We were wrong. The last three episodes went back to the same old stupidities:stupid actions from supposedly smart characters, contrived plot devices, more idiocy with that infuriating little girl and one undeserved and incoherent twist after another.

Several times I was astounded at the unbelievable depth of stupidity these characters displayed. Several times they completely abandoned logic and more than once conveniently forgot key information that could have saved lives. Not to mention: when you have caught a serial killer who has killed everyone of your family and friends,at the very LEAST shoot off his damn legs!

I also had trouble with the way actors were asked to change their performance so that they could act as "red herrings". There was never any logic or subtly to these changes. (this was clearly the director's and screen writer's fault, the cast has proved skillful in other productions)

I did not buy when they tried to make certain characters' look evil. Similarly, I did not buy for one second Wakefield and his sudden bid for sympathy in the jail cell. Here is the thing: psychos are psychos for a reason. Yes, Ted Bundy seemed like a nice guy but he didn't kill his friends. He killed strangers.

For some one to kill ALL their friends-including their fiancée(!),you need to reach a certain point where you snap and become anti-social. There is NO way they would be able to hide it; to act so loving and "normal" for years. Also, it was never explained why everyone had to die. I'm sorry but "they were in the way" is NOT sufficient! The final resolution reads more like a parody than a dramatic flourish: pretend to fall in love with the most beautiful girl, have a wedding to lure the one you truly have loved since you were kids (oh and don't even bother about the fact, that technically you are brother and sister) and with the help of your real father kill everyone in various and bloody ways. Then you and your intended can be truly happy and alone for, what, at least ten days...

Other points of contention:never explained how Uncle Marty was sliced in half on a very tall bridge, never explained what the hell happened to ALL the townspeople, (one episode the town was full and the next it was completely deserted!) why spare certain characters only to kill them later?, (other than because the script said so!) the little girl vacillated between creepiness to complete and utter vapidity so much that I really wish SHE was the killer.

Too many other things irritated me about this show but I think the worst was that they took the three most interesting and likable characters; the Englishman, his girl and, Trish, (the would have been bride) and killed them off.

That is just inexcusable and shows the complete lack of humanity the writers of this show possess: everything and anyone is just a commodity in the end to be used as convenient plot devices. Interesting characters do not matter. Beauty does not matter. Only the body matters. Preferably degraded and made as ugly as humanly possible.

Well, at least the scenery was quaint.

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66 out of 111 people found the following review useful:

Really draws you in!

Author: BamBamShootShoot from United States
8 June 2009

When I first started watching this show, I was thinking 'yeah, sure, whatever, everyone's dying who cares.' As the season keeps going, I get more and more hooked. I thought it was slow the first two episodes, but man, was I sorrily mistaken. It's one of the best shows on TV. I would watch it over almost anything.

When the pilot was aired, I just told myself that it was a stupid show about some people who are too stupid to notice people dying. My friend convinced me to watch the second episode, and I am so glad she did! Each episode of this show draws you in more and more. It's very fast-paced and dramatic. Though it can be a little bit cheesy, the shocking murders really make up for it. The actors and actresses were also better than I thought they would be.

This show keeps you on the edge of your seat, and will always have you thinking. It is hard to point the finger at one person when there are so many people who are seemingly guilty.

I'm not even a huge fan of the blood and guts, but this show really knows what's up! I would recommend it for anyone who is into horror films in the slightest! It's well worth it.

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69 out of 123 people found the following review useful:

What a spectacular series!

Author: ninjitis from Portugal
12 July 2009

First, i'd like to congratulate CBS for showing us this great series!

Seriously, this series is really awesome. The casting, the soundtrack, the producing, editing, everything went perfect in these short, but great 13 episodes. I mean, it's by far, one of the best TV shows ever. The deaths were really smart and at the end of each episode, we'd be overwhelmed by the quality of the series and waiting, really hard, for another episode.

Episode by episode, death by death, the series gained a lot of tension and interest.

And we have to see this point: it's better to have a unique season of great quality, in spite of having a lot of seasons, with poor quality episodes and no story to tell!

Congratulatins, Harper's Island! You made it.

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19 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

An intriguing murder mystery undone at the end

Author: Murli from Bermuda
18 October 2011

When I saw the previews I was hooked, despite my reservations that it was being shown as a series. Usually there are tonnes of side plots and involvements that are so stupid that it takes away from the main plot. But one of the plus points for Harper's Island is that it stays true to the premise. The intrigue builds from the first episode with the first grisly death and then you start to try and figure out who the killer is. Is it John Wakefield, the original killer, or is there a new player? A copycat and pretender to the throne.

But then all the tension and terror that had been building with each episode unravels in episode twelve and completely undone by the thirteenth. In fact the last episode is a lesson in utter stupidity, something that would not be out of place in a soap opera or some teen series. Even the reason for all the killing are quite absurd, as if the script writers were so thrilled with coming up with the idea of the deaths that they must have looked at each other when it came time to justify the deaths and drawn a complete blank. Watching Harper's Island is very much like getting a huge shiny Christmas present and when you finally get past the wrappings and layers to the gift it's noting more than a gift card for stationary. I haven't felt this let down for a long time.

But this is my personal rant. I'd still recommend this for the first half of the series which was excellent in building tension. The setting's very creepy and it lends credence to the terror that the characters feel. Watch it at night for the full effect!

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21 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Insane crap designed to run apparently forever

Author: the_wolf_imdb from Prague
3 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You have beautiful island full of people plus one (two) psychopaths on the loose. He (they) kill about 5-10 people every part of the series - there may be hundred or more dead in the series. And yet the remaining people try to capture, not to kill the bastard. There are unbelievable scenes here: Five people with guns do discuss they have no morale right to kill him captured, because he must "be judged and locked forever" to preserve memory of his victims. (He will run from the capture in about 10 minutes later and kill another one.) We have scene where four people with guns aiming at the bastard, but no one shoots so he manages to kill two of them with knife. The villain in the series is not even average, he is pretty inept actually, just all the others are dumb as bricks. The stupidity of the show is just not believable. I think no one with average intelligence will enjoy the second half of the show which actually consists only from such scenes. Forget the comparison to the "Ten little Indians" from Agatha Christie. Agatha wrote clever story with acceptable length. This TV series is just pain an suffering for even moderately intelligent viewer. And it may have second run: Just bring in other ship filled with stupid youngsters for slaughter in the next series and murders may continue forever in the same manner. Uh oh.

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23 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Harpers Island - where a warm welcome awaits you!

Author: Cedric_Catsuits from United Kingdom
20 September 2009

Actually I'm not that big on dramatic TV series and the market is awash with them lately - monsters, serial killers, vamps, islands etc. However I am strangely drawn to Harpers Island, aided not a little by the fact that the BBC shows two episodes back-to-back so we don't have to wait a week between them!

Elaine Cassidy is a pretty face and manages to hold the story together, although there are no real stars and no real passengers here - it's just an all-round competent show, which is how I like it. The events may be predictable in the sense we know there's a killer on the loose, but they are sufficiently disguised to provide some nice (or nasty) surprises. Young Cassandra Sawtell's chilling portrayal of the very odd child Madison Allen is particularly entrancing.

I'd have preferred more humour and maybe a pinch of salt, but overall Harper's Island is a worthwhile diversion from the usual humdrum TV.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Quite an entertaining show - up to episode 9...

Author: inspektorr from Croatia
27 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nowdays most of the USA TV production is quite shortlived - many shows don't make it to the end of season 1, so the viewers are reluctant to devote their attention not knowing how long the show will live. So, investing into a show that has only 1 season (and you get everything explained at the end) seems to be a pretty good deal.

Harper's Island won't sweep you off your feet in the first episode, but give it a few more and you'll soon find it entertaining. While the concept is nothing new and basically comes down to guessing who the killer is only to find that in each episode the prime suspect ends up being hacked, slashed, spiked, chopped or hanged, and thus eliminated from the offered suspect pool.

HP has some good creepy moments, but also tends to drift into being overly dramatic. The actors are mostly OK, they pull what they can from the paper characters they're assigned with, and somehow the show pulls through episode after episode.

Unfortunately, exactly at the beginning of episode 9 everything goes to hell. The characters start acting like their IQ has been reduced to zero, they make completely stupid and illogical decisions and you're left wondering what the heck happened with this show.

SPOILER ALERT!!! For example, in one scene the killer finally presents himself to the trapped survivors. He's armed with some sort of a harpoon and they're armed with 2 shotguns. He manages to butcher one girl that's holding the shotgun, while everyone else observes this without interfering. Then everyone escapes, leaving one guy armed with a pocket knife to fight off the killer. That includes the girl with the other shotgun. She locks herself in the bathroom with the gun, waits for the killer to kill the poor guy, and then at the first sound of him going for the door of the toilet, she blasts two holes in the door - and of course misses the killer.

At this point I just turned it off and have no intention to watch the remaining 4 episodes. It's really disappointing.

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22 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

If there's one thing true about this series...- it's totally addicting!

Author: daberaz
21 March 2010

The Harper's Island is an Island where 7years ago sociopath John Wakefield brutally murdered 6women. Now, Henry comes back to the island where he spent his whole childhood with his fiancée to get married there. The guests include the family from both sides, best friends and especially one, a woman whose mother was one of those 6women, then. She's the main character of the show. Soon, people are starting to get brutally killed in various ways...

As in the title, if there's one thing true about this series, it is that is totally addicting, and NO MATTER what you think of some characters and their stupid moves, no matter what you think of some twists and how predictable you may find them, no matter what you think of some of the screenwriters' ideas - you will watch it right to the end. And you will watch REAL FAST!

As the film-making goes, it's flawless, great climatic cinematography, and some special effects when needed.

As to the characters, they're all believable which is good, and all the actors do a great job, which is nowadays not that easy to find on TV.

Some great music and songs used, too!

A the plot goes, it will keep you guessing to the very end, your predictions may probe to be wrong, OR right, but the sure thing is, you will be fooled a few times before you know what's going on. And the majority of you, me including here, will be shocked by the ending. And of course, lots of twist all the way through.

It will keep you on the edge of your sits, doesn't matter if its, people becoming missing one by one, them figuring out that they're getting killed, murderer's hunt for the rest of them, or their hunt for the murderer.

It's not perfect, but it's still a very good television!

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