Harper’s Island, You’re Dead To Me
Dear Harper’s Island,
It could have been so good between us. I mean it. You don’t know me, but I am your demographic – I love the horror genre more than any other and have a wide threshold of suspension when it comes to disbelief. Contrary to my sunny appearance, I adore the dark, twisted, bloody, sick stuff. Sure, I have my favorites (zombies, anyone?) but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t love a homicidal maniac just as steadfastly. You wouldn’t even have had to try very hard as I scare easily and I have a high tolerance for crap. You had so much promise, Harper’s Island, what with your neatly packaged 13 episodes – a good sign that your story would follow a natural arc and conclude in a concise way…but you blew it.
I could live with the poorly fleshed-out characters and badly written dialogue and I was even willing to overlook the some of the convoluted murdering shenanigans*, but I what I can’t get past is this: four episodes in and seven people have been murdered and yet NO ONE SEEMS TO NOTICE (with one exception, it’s too boring to discuss but seriously just one dead person is acknowledged by the other characters. Out of seven.)
The entire plot of this story revolves around a destination wedding – an event for which friends and relatives have travelled together and they seem to be a rather small, tightly-knit group. It is worth noting that the location for the nuptials has a violent past, seven years prior to the wedding a number of residents were brutally murdered. The nature of the island’s grisly and recent past, could make a person a tad jumpy. It is also worth noting that a principal character’s mother was among the slain – which does make that character (understandably) jumpy, but oddly doesn’t seem to bother any of the other guests. So, back to the current murders! The first time this happened, the deceased was a distant, undependable relative whom no one expected much from so his failure to appear was not out of the ordinary. Fine. The other murder victims? Why they are close friends, relatives and members of the wedding party! Why does the bride not care that one of her bridesmaids is missing? Why does the groom not find it odd that a beloved uncle has just vanished? The minister hired to wed the blissfully unobservant couple? Dead. And no one cares. Including me.
It didn’t have to mean anything, Harper’s Island, it could have been just for thrills. I would have been so happy with a meaningless, exhilarating fling…but no, you had to go and tarnish the shiny fantasy with your ignorance of basic human behavior. Sigh.
*To wit, a character is tied to the bottom of a docked boat but is given an oxygen cylinder to breathe from so that he can live long enough to be minced like ground chuck in the boat’s motor when the boat leaves port. I imagine that such a set up would be exceedingly labor intensive.