Harvest, The (2013): McNaughton’s Horror Family Tale, Starring Samantha Morton

With The Harvest, John McNaughton returned to his favorite genre, horror, having made a splashy debut in the late 1980s with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

It was McNaughton’s first feature in over a decade, after the 2001 Speaking of Sex, and his first horror venture since “Haeckel’s Tale,” a 2006 episode of the horror anthology series, Masters of Horror.

The movie world premiered at the Chicago Film Fest in 2013, but it was released theatrically two years later by IFC.

The protag is a teenage girl, Maryann (Natasha Calis), who after losing her parents, moves in with her grandparents. She befriends Andy (Charlie Tahan), a sick wheelchaired boy confined to his home.

His tyrannical mother Katherine (Samantha Morton) forbids him to have any visitors, and when the boy is nevertheless visited, her behavior gets erratic.

When Katherine meets up with Maryann’s grandparents, and reveals that Andy is dying, they prohibit her from visiting him. However, Maryann’s visits continue, and one day she takes Andy outside to play baseball.  Getting back to the house, the fearful Maryann hides in the basement, where she discovers a comatose boy, named Jason.

Katherine’s behavior grows more volatile, while Maryann discovers that Jason was abducted from the hospital as a baby. She sneaks back to Andy’s house, where she learns of a liver transplant. Katherine and husband Richard (Michael Shannon) operate on Andy, removing part of his liver while lying to him that it was his appendix.

Maryann returns to the house and informs Andy about the boy in the basement. The skeptical Andy sneaks down to the basement to find out. Richard tries to get him out but is unsuccessful. Andy pulls out the cords to Jason’s machines, and Richard tries to plug them in again. As Richard carries Andy out, Katherine divulges that Jason is her son.

Andy then reveals that he is the real Jason, and that Jason is the real Andy.  The heart transplant about to take place is for the real Andy, Katherine and Richard’s biological son.

The pair had abducted the real Jason as a baby to harvest his organs and save their ill son.  Feeling remorseful for his actions, Richard helps him escape with Maryann. He then heads down to the basement, and, after unplugging his son’s ventilator, sets the basement on fire. Katherine desperately 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 capacity to use his legs, are seen playing baseball.