The sea finds out everything you’ve done wrong…
After Richard (Christopher Gray) punches the absolute living shit out of his friend Jonah (Munro Chambers) thinking that he was having an affair with his long-term girlfriend, Sasha (Emily Tyra), Richard tries to make amends by taking Jonah and Sasha out on his yacht – The Naughty Bouy. At the beginning of the film, we learn through narration by Brett Gelman about the three friends and the kind of people they are. For example. Richard is a rich asshole with anger issues and a family that has a habit of making people disappear when things don’t go there way and Jonah is the mistreated nice guy of the group.
When things suddenly escalate on the boat and the three ‘friends’ become stranded in the middle of the ocean due to an engine failure, tensions escalate and tempers flare leading the trio not being able to trust each other – but they must set aside their differences if they’re going to survive out in the ocean on a food with next to no food or water. If the gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia got stranded out at sea in the boat they bought in that one episode (Season 6, Episode 3), this is exactly how I imagine it would play out.
Christopher Gray gives a terrifying performance as Richard, whose anger and unpredictability lays an underlying sense of unease in every scene – even during the films more comedic moments. This sense of unease keeps the film afloat, even during its slower scenes. Munro Chambers is able to flex his acting chops in this film as his character experiences and absolute rollercoaster of emotions and slowly becomes unhinged with each passing day that the group are stranded. Emily Tyra’s character is at the centre of the unravelling drama and is the voice of reason when the guys are at each other’s throats – but she isn’t one to sit on the sidelines in an argument and isn’t to be underestimated.
Rob Grant doesn’t go overboard with gore, which means when it does occur, it has a much grosser impact – there’s a particular arm injury later in the film that had me squirming and it’s mostly because I wasn’t expecting to see something that graphic. The film is also really well shot considering its small budget. Both Grant and his DP, Charles Hamilton, effectively utilise the small, dark space inside the yacht to their advantage.
As secrets are spilled and their friendship drifts further and further apart, the dishonesty, betrayal, and odd behaviour from all three characters means you’re never quite sure who you can actually trust. Because each character brings a little something different to the film that adds new danger to their situation, you’re never quite sure who you want to see survive this oar-deal.
Rob Grant’s horror-comedy may only have a run time of 82 minutes, but thanks to its strong writing and tenacious performances from all three of its actors, it’s a dark, twisted tale that will have you hook, line, and sinker. This film could have easily gone off course and become another forgettable ‘stranded out at sea’ flick, but the talent showcased both in front and behind the camera are evidence this ship would have been hard to sink.
Harpoon is exclusively available on the Arrow Video channel on Amazon Prime and Apple TV now
Directed by: Rob Grant
Written by: Rob Grant, Mike Kova
Cast: Brett Gelman, Emily Tyra, Munro Chambers, Christopher Gray