Harper's Island Spolier-Rama!

In my as-yet-unpublished review of My Bloody 3D Valentine, I mention that if a filmmaker wants to rip off a Friday the 13th movie, that's fine - people love those things - but if you absolutely have to rip one off, it shouldn't be part five. It should never be part five.

Along the same line of thought, I'd just like to say that if you're going to broaden your horizons a little and rip-off something outside the Friday the 13th franchise, here's a tip: Don't rip off "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer".

But hey, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.

As I guessed, Henry's the killer. Which is kind of an annoying resolution, since he was the most obvious suspect right from the beginning. He was so incredibly obvious that I had no choice but to suspect overly nice guy Jimmy, who seemed far too perfectly innocent to be exactly what he seemed. But no, the guy with the anger management problems with the killer and the nice boyfriend was exactly what he seemed. Way to stay neatly within the borders of that envelope, Harper's Island.

Of course, during the first half of the show I was forced to dismiss Henry as a suspect because I assumed the show was playing fair - as I mentioned on one of theavods, I didn't really think the show was going to pull an 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', in that it would pretend to be a solveable mystery for the first eighty minutes, then have a killer we'd never seen before show up in the last ten. But that's exactly what it did. I should have guessed it was going that way when the killer proved to be fisherman-themed, as was the killer in IKWYDLS.

It went beyond that, though - turning into an ISKWYDLS rip-off. Not in any obvious ways, but for someone who's seen the movie seven hundred times, the parallels are obvious. Not just the island hotel retreat that's besieged by the fisherman-themed killer, either. No, there's the central girl whose friends (or family) had been killed by the fisherman earlier, the on-again, off-again relationship with the hunky local fisherman who has a comic-relief sidekick that adds to the body count. Then there's hunky guy number 2, who turns out to be the evil fisherman's son, revealed when guy number 2 holds a girl in his arms and says 'hey dad' to the evil fisherman who just walked up in the background. There's even the scene where the two killers have their final victims cornered, and one stabs the other to death - the big twist this time being that the son stabs the father, and that it's on purpose, rather than an accident.

Yeah, it turns out the two killers had two motives. Wakefield wanted revenge, and Henry wanted Abby, his secret half-sister, to run away with him to an island love-nest. How exactly that necessitated killing everyone isn't really clear. Of course, it doesn't have to - he's crazy.

The Colonel's Bequested it, alright. Colonel's Bequested it for real. His motive was that he was super-crazy, in a way that doesn't make a lot of sense. Had they established at any point that he was monstrously abused by his adoptive parents for his entire childhood, and that his summers on the island with Abby were the one respite from the nightmare that was the rest of his life, that might have been an acceptible explanation. We don't get that, though. No, instead we're just supposed to believe that discovering you're adopted is enough of a trauma to drive you to murder.

Take that, adopted kids of the world, you're all potential murderers!

I'll give the final episode this - it gave the actor playing Henry a chance to crazy it up hard-core, and that was mighty entertaining to watch. He was so much more entertaining than the other characters that I found myself hoping that he'd get away with it. The episode was also just jam-packed with events. It almost felt like two movies' worth of content. For a show that spent so many hours spinning its wheels, it was nice to see a littel movement right at the end.

It wasn't all gravy, though - once the big reveal is made a whole lot of the preamble stops making sense, and, ridiculously, when Henry mentions the three people who he killed, two of the names are people that he had pretty air-tight alibis for.

I bid you a farewell, Harper's Island. You were super-crazy, and a huge dissapointment, but I ended up getting a 13-hour slasher movie that I can show people, and even if it's not a very good one, it's still a thing that really exists, and that's something.

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