See The Best Secret Gem Horror Adaptation Of Last Year

By Jason Collins | Published

It’s not really that rare for great movie releases to fly under the radar and be overshadowed by massive Hollywood blockbusters, and 2023’s Dark Harvest, an absolute gem of horror adaptations that released last year, is one such release. Those interested in seeing this movie can stream it on major streaming services.

The Halloween Legend Of Sawtooth Jack

Dark Harvest is a cinematic adaptation of Norman Partridge’s 2006 novel of the same name and features a rich narrative and some rather chilling themes, such as the cursed town’s deadly Halloween tradition and tales of survival.

The plot revolves around Richie Shepard and his encounter with the horrifying creature known as Sawtooth Jack—a scarecrow that symbolizes the town’s dark harvest—and a group of boys engaged in a deadly game of survival. The movie blends traditional horror elements with themes of community, sacrifice, and the perpetual cycle of violence.

Dark Harvest Has Something For Horror Fans Of All Ages

Needless to say, Dark Harvest was favored by critics and more youthful audiences, but failed to capture the attention of more mature horror fans, as it lacked deeper emotional resonance and true psychological dread to appeal to a more seasoned horror palette.

However, David Slade’s kinetic filmmaking, which reached its zenith during the central part of the film, did a great job of drawing you into the fear and tension of the town—particularly because mid-movie is when you really understand the origins of Sawtooth Jack and the town’s dark secret. The ending is not bad either, as it introduces a new Jack.

Years In The Making

Though seemingly juvenile and lacking any real teeth in comparison to other horror releases, Dark Harvest is still regarded as one of the best releases of 2023 by critics, which is a bit surprising considering its troubled production.

Namely, the movie was announced in 2019, with David Slade hired to direct the adaptation of the aforementioned novel, with Michael Gilio working on the script, and Matt Tolmach and David Manpearl as producers. However, as with many other releases from that period, Dark Harvest also suffered major setbacks leading to its final release date.

Setbacks Delayed The Release To 2023

The movie was originally scheduled to release in 2021 but suffered multiple delays due to pandemic-related issues, such as social distancing and lockdowns, which prompted New Regency to put the movie’s production on hiatus. In 2020, reports surfaced about Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquiring Dark Harvest and appointing Gilio to executive produce the movie. Additionally, newcomers Casey Likes and Emyri Crutchfield were cast in the lead roles, and the subsequent reports revealed that Jeremy Davies, Elizabeth Reaser, and Luke Kirby were added to the cast.

Where To Stream Dark Harvest

Dark Harvest debuted digitally on October 13, 2023, like many movies produced during COVID-19, followed by a one-night-only exclusive screening in select Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations. This limited release strategy highlighted the movie’s unique position in the horror genre, offering the audiences a rather novel and immersive experience. Unfortunately, horror fans might’ve missed this one due to the release of Evil Dead Rise, Scream VI, and When Evil Lurks, and other horror releases.

Those interested in witnessing Dark Harvest, this absolute gem of horror, can watch the movie via Amazon Prime Video, and Fubo.