The gimmick mini-series show horror thriller/mystery Harper’s Island, created by Ari Schlossberg fits perfect in the bargain-budget range of shows; with William Castle and Mark Burnett, a the horror movie review would rather describe it as a mix of best traditions from Lois Duncan’s ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ and some other genre powerhouses.
Featuring Elaine Cassidy, Adam Campbell, Katie Cassidy, Christopher Gorham, Cameron Richardson, and Harry Hamlin, the show has been promoted as a mystery event on CBS, which is a quite traditional way for the company to bring its miniseries to the viewer. CBS boasts the conclusive ending of the show – in just 13 weeks the story unfolds, revealing the question which was plaguing everyone – “who will survive in the end?”.
Survivor was among the main sources of inspiration for the gimmick show, definitely. Each week took one life of the guests of an isolated island, and the story became even more interesting and engaging; even though that was not really so, the biggest flaw of the show is that the gimmick nature of the show was not quite exploited by the creators. The mystery came out to be not so compelling, and the characterizations were not that strong. Some of the episodes were not bad, but in comparison with the sketchy first Friday the 13th Part 3D and April Fool’s Day by Fred Walton, the latter two were a bit more complex and wittier.
The all-non-star cast seems to be lacking some identification to make the show noticeable and fill in the blanks.