GenreHorror, Thriller Duration CountryUnited States
Release dateApril 10, 2015 (2015-04-10) (IFC Films) ProducersMeadow Williams, Steven A. Jones, Kim Jose, David Robinson CastSamantha Morton (Katherine), Michael Shannon (Richard), Natasha Calis (Maryann), Charlie Tahan (Andy), Peter Fonda (Grandfather), Leslie Lyles (Grandmother) Similar moviesAsk Me Anything, Cooties, Urotsukidoji IV: Inferno Road, The Little Princess, Lone Star, Upside Down Feeling
TaglineFirst the Fall, then The Harvest.
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The Harvest (released as Can't Come Out to Play in the UK) is a 2013 American horror thriller film released by IFC Films that was directed by John McNaughton. It is the first feature film he has directed in over a decade (his last feature film being the 2001 movie Speaking of Sex) and his first horror venture since Haeckel's Tale, a 2006 episode of the horror series Masters of Horror. The movie had its world premiere on October 19, 2013, at the Chicago International Film Festival and follows a young girl (Natasha Calis) who befriends a seemingly lonely and confined boy her own age, only to fall afoul of his mother.
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Reeling from the loss of her mother and father, teenage Maryann (Natasha Calis) moves in with her grandparents, and is grateful when she manages to befriend Andy (Charlie Tahan), a wheelchair-bound boy. As Andy is very sick he must stay within his home per the instructions of his mother, Katherine (Samantha Morton), who also forbids him from having any visitors. When their visits are discovered, Andy's father, Richard (Michael Shannon), is initially fine with the visits, but Katherine is having none of it and her behavior grows increasingly erratic.
After Katherine meets up with Maryann's grandparents, and reveals to them that Andy is dying, they prohibit her from visiting Andy again. However, Maryann's visits continue in Katherine's absence; she even takes Andy outside to play baseball. Their time together is cut short when Katherine calls her son to inform him she's on her way home. They manage to get back inside the house and Maryann hides in the basement, where she discovers a comatose boy. After Katherine discovers that Maryann visited her son, she verbally and physically assaults him. Richard comforts Andy, while Katherine takes care of Jason, the comatose boy. When Richard goes to get medical supplies, it is revealed he is having an affair. Katherine's behavior grows even more volatile, while Maryann discovers that Jason was abducted from the hospital as a baby. She sneaks back to Andy's house and discovers that a liver transplant will take place. Katherine and Richard operate on Andy, removing part of his liver. Richard later tells Andy that he had to have emergency surgery to remove his appendix.
Meanwhile, Maryann returns to the house and informs Andy about the boy in the basement, and her suspicions that he was kidnapped. Andy, still skeptical, sneaks down to the basement and sees Jason. Richard spots him and tries to get him out before Katherine wakes up; he is, however, unsuccessful. Andy takes out the cords to Jason's machines, and Richard is frantically trying to plug it in again. As Richard carries Andy out, Katherine reveals that Jason is her son. Maryann returns to the house again to get Andy out, and Andy reveals to her that he is the real Jason, and that Jason is the real Andy. It is disclosed that the heart transplant is for the real Andy, Katherine and Richard's biological son. The pair had abducted the real Jason as a baby, so they could harvest his organs, and save their ill son. Maryann tries to help Jason escape, while Richard goes to retrieve him for surgery. Feeling remorseful for what "Andy" had to endure, Richard helps him escape with Maryann. A frantic Katherine, refusing to accept that there is no hope for her son, subdues Richard with an injection and gives chase to Jason and Maryann. A dazed Richard heads down to the basement, and, after unplugging his son's ventilator, sets the basement on fire and lies next to his son. Katherine, who had caught up to Jason and Maryann, is informed via her pager that her son's ventilator has been unplugged, and runs back to the house. She frantically tries to get her deceased son out of the burning house, but is unsuccessful when the roof collapses on them. In the end, Maryann and Jason who has regained the use of his legs, are seen playing baseball.
Samantha Morton as Katherine
Michael Shannon as Richard
Natasha Calis as Maryann
Charlie Tahan as Andy/Jason
Peter Fonda as Grandfather
Leslie Lyles as Grandmother
Meadow Williams as Sandra
Critical reception for The Harvest has been mostly positive. IndieWire, Variety, and Bloody Disgusting all gave favorable reviews for the film, and Bloody Disgusting heralded the film as "a triumphant return for one of indie cinema’s edgiest directors."
The film premiered on October 19, 2013 as part of the Chicago International Film Festival and was screened on July 21, 2014 in Canada as part of the Fantasia International Film Festival. A limited screening at the IFC Center and the video on demand release took place on April 10, 2015.