Despite the crafty set-up, Scott Schirmer’s HARVEST LAKE (2016) isn’t yet another by-the-numbers retread of the well-worn ‘spam in a cabin’ slasher architype. It’s something a lot more intriguing and subversive. While there are echoes of other creature features beneath its slimy and foreboding surface; most obviously Philip Kaufman's 1978 and Abel Ferrara's 1993 remakes of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, HARVEST LAKE actually has more in common with more recent erotically charged horror films like Jonathan Glazer’s otherworldly UNDER THE SKIN (2013) and Amat Escalante's astonishing sex monster eye-popper, THE UNTAMED (2016). All three focus on ancient or extra-terrestrial beings that have the ability to control humans by way of ultimate sexual arousal and gratification, ‘aliens’ with the power to control us by unleashing potent aphrodisiacs that completely overwhelm or literally absorb their hosts. This isn’t to say that HARVEST LAKE is in any way derivative. It’s not. Schirmer’s films have their own unique ambience, rhythm and hypnotic aesthetic. Also of note is the films wonderful squishy practical effects and rich and eerie ambient score. Schirmer’s best known films to date, FOUND (2012) and PLANK FACE (2016), only serve to cement him as a visionary rising star within genre filmmaking; see my previous notes on PLANK FACE. Available as a digital download through Bandit Motion Pictures website, iTunes and Amazon.