Harper's Island

CBS (ended 2009)


No Editor

User Score: 0


Harper's Island Fan Reviews (72)

Write A Review
out of 10
1,806 votes
  • The Ultimate Movie Review! -- @tss5078

    Harper's Island was a Mini-Series on CBS in the summer of 2009. Had it been in a decent time slot or debuted in the fall, this would have been a huge franchise. Instead this unique and exciting show was buried due to bad ratings. Harper's Island is a small island off the coast of Washington state, where rich people come to vacation, a small fishing village exists, and it was the home to a serial killer. 7 years earlier, John Wakefield killed 6 people on Harper's Island including Abby's mother. Now she is returning home for the first in 7 years for the wedding of her best friend. Harper's Island is back to normal, Wakefield is long dead, and all that remains are people start dying again. The show is terrific, full of twists and turns and all kinds of things you won't see coming. I love shows that keep you guessing and make you think, however the one drawback of this show is that it was in fact designed as a mini-series. There is so much good stuff here, but they only have 13 hours to tell the story, so a lot of it is rushed and at points it feels like you're watching a soap opera. I wish the network saw the potential and took this gem and made it into a series, but they didn't. Harper's Island is hardly remembered now, 4 years later, but it was a show that was clever, fast-paced, and adored by its fans. The true killer of Harper's Island is Nielsen, as once again the ratings killed a gem in the making.
  • Though flawed, fantastic show

    I realize that a lot of people have problems with this show (in particular, the ending), but overall, this was an amazing show. Well-written, layered plot lines, great characters (that weren't totally 2-dimensional), great acting, awesome production values, and some really great suspense. Pretty much everything I could want out a murder mystery TV series.

    While the ending could have been better, it by no means ruined the show, and in retrospect it actually could have been handled a lot worse.

    Lastly, shout out to CJ Thomason. Huge fan of his and thought he did a great job in this series. He really stood out among such a talented cast, and I love his relationship with Abby. Since the show ended, I've been looking for other stuff to see him in. I really enjoyed him in Husk, and I've heard he's also great in The Monkey's Paw.

    Great show, definitely worth several repeat viewings.
  • Good premise but....

    This show proved to be disappointing. I was hoping for some good suspense here but unfortunately it failed to deliver. The producers seem to take the lazy way out by merely increasing the level of violence each episode to try and feed the audience's interest. As the show became more and more gruesome, the desire to find out the ending became less and less appealing. Quite a shame too as the idea was spectacular but the execution wasn't.
  • I agree with the comment "Waste of Time"

    I am also 54 and this is the stupidest show I have ever seen. Fortunately, several of the actors have redeemed themselves in other shows. I am sure they are grateful to have put this behind them as well. The light in which they portray women as helpless, pathetic, useless creatures burns my behind. Please, how many times do they send the woman out of the room with a shot gun to leave a guy with a switch blade to fight the killer who has a machete. Dam any one well placed shot and the killer is a thing of the past. What writers came up with that ????? Stupid!!!!! This would have scored a minus if it were available....
  • B-Movie as a tv show.

    Not bad. I actually enjoyed watching every week. Not the best acting.
  • best show ever

    this show is phenomenal it was so surprising to see a new original show like this on tv instead of comedy,teen,reality shows, was so suspenseful should have went for longer amazing storyline and picturing, i stayed up to 2.25am in the morning just to watch a episode because i didn't want to miss it, superb series with great twists...
  • Waste of time

    It is very hard now days to find such a stupid series. This is the most stupid movie I have ever seen and I am 54 years old :)I gave it a 1 because there is no lower grade. Script is like shit, couldn't figure for what age this is realized , it probably should be rated R3...restricted for people over 3...How did u dare to put this piece of shit on the market, are guys ***s or the asshole that made this shity movie paid you to do it?
  • This show keeps you on the edge of your seat. I always think I know the killer, then a new plot twist throws me off.

    It's hard to tell the red herrings from the actual clues, but that's half the fun. Every week the new episode always has me thinking for the rest of the week, until the next episode airs. The only negative thing I have to say about this show is the fact that it was designed to only last one season, so next year I'm going to be missing it. I'm hoping right now that the ratings will be good for the rest of the season, and maybe a simular series might pop up next year. I've got a pretty good idea of who the killer could be, but who knows? By next week I'll probably have a whole new theory.
  • Strangely fun for a cheesy show.


    While I usually find shows like this one, cheesy shows that is, hard to watch, there was something different about this show. The acting was so-so, the plot's twists and turns were silly, and there wasn't really any emotion depth to the characters at all. I'm not saying the actors were bad, I'm just saying they really didn't have much to work with.

    Whilelogicallyit was a bad show, it was asurprisingly fun "clue" like puzzle spread over a season of 13 episodes. In each episode someone dies, there's new twists andsuspicion is thrown to someone else. The question is: who is this serial killer.

    I enjoyed greatly which was a surprise since I'm not really all that into this genre. Just don't take it too seriously. Sit back, relax, and watch and you might have a good time with it.

    Also I just have to note that one of the biggest problems the show faced was it's network. It was no surprise that CBScanceled it (while it was a surprise they let it play out all its episodes) for CBS tends to cancel any show that don't fall into the crime-procedural genre or isn't a comedy. I think had this been on Syfy than it might still be on the air. But that's just myopinion.

  • Harper's Island was a perfect, short-running murder mystery that drew my attention.


    Harper's island is a murder mystery show where a group of people go a secluded island for a wedding- and for death. It turns into a struggle for survival, where every episode someone is killed and every person is a suspect. At the end of the 13 episodes, all questions are answered and only a few survive.

    My review: Harper's Island wasn't really a long-running show, but all 13 episodes were fantastic and should be viewed by anybody who likes horror or mystery shows.

    10 / 10 A +

  • I loved this mini-series!


    I actually miss this show so much! Although it was a mini-series, it was very interesting. It was just like watching a brand new horror movie every week for three months. Chloe and Kal were my favorite couple on the show. I bawled my eyes out when they both died :( Of course, Henry and Trish were cute together, until we figured out what happened in the finale!

  • its basically a long horror movie.


    i dont want to give to much away so this is what ill say about this show. the acting is good. the murder scenes are so bloddy and dramatic i love it. i love how you have to try and figure out who the killer is.

    the only bad thing i will say about the show is that there are so many characters that when some of them die you dont really care about them b/c you dont know to much about that person.

    the story u can 4get alot of stuff b/c its like one long movie.

    overall this is anokay show it could be better.

  • A great show!

    The idea of a horror TV show seemed like a terrible idea and I didn't have high hopes for this show, but boy was I wrong. I watched all 13 episodes within a day, and I was hooked after one episode. The whole legend of Wakefield and is he or isn't he alive was great. The deaths of each person were better than I expected from a TV show. The terror was great and have me gripped to my seat with each episode. The ending was so sweet, with Abby and Jimmy going off into the sunset. Overall this was a great series and one which I would recommend to anyone to watch.
  • A Perfect, bite sized show. :-)

    Absolutely loved it! It was perfect. It was a new and fresh idea. It answered all the questions, and had a wonderful, shocking ending!! From the first episode it sucks you in. Its like a horror-soap opera that you can't get enough of. The casting was great, the writing was perfect, the filming and effects were brilliant! It was brilliant for them to air it during the summer when most shows are running re-runs. It has a delicate balance of romance, love, horror, mystery, adventure, gore, and comedy. And the comic relief was perfect. The location was both beautiful and creepy. And I absolutely loved Madison, the flower girl!!!!
  • this is my favourite tv series ever!

    AWESOME,ha!really really good under rated.i had nightmares every sunday night but stil watched it!i even dated a guy i didn't like so i didn't hav2 watch it alone!ha,i am such a saddo but love american shows.for me really good and a good ending!i just love the cast i recognise them from supernatural,buffy,desperate housewives loads of shows,it was just brilliant,i'm getting it wen it comes on dvd!fair enough if u don't like it but i do.i'm trying to think of more words because you need a hundred word minimum and i just need a few more words,there you go,thats a hundred
  • Best TV series in a long time

    In my opinion Harper's Island was incredibly good. I have to admit I wasn't mad on it at the start but by the end of the 2nd episode I was hooked. It's not everyone's cup of tea, with at least 1 violent murder every episode, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was gripping, fast-paced, interesting, dramatic, mysterious, had some great acting by some young stars, and despite the gory murders, cal & chloe's and henry's death (especially jimmy and abby on the boat home and the wedding interview bit) made me actually cry. An excellent series, and a perfect 10.
  • Could have been better...

    When I started whatching this tv show I thought it was not so bad after all. The first episodes are interesting and misterious and you want to discover more about all these murders. The expectations are kept high. And in my opinion it was the only good thing to do because for the rest, the show is not great: characters are pretty much all flat and without personality, the stories are meaningless and sometimes even silly, and when you finally discover who the killer is, episode by episode you just lose interest and you even start wondering why you are watching the show. The final episodes have been painfull to watch and the conclusion of the story is completely out of reality. I have to admit though that during the episodes it was hard to understand who the killer was: that has probably been the only great part of the show.
  • A show that deserved much better ratings during its run, an underrated show that I loved.

    I wasn't sure whether to begin watching this show when I first watched it, but I decided to after seeing some trailers, and I was very impressed. Things don't really pick up until Episode 5, and from then on the show just became an exciting horror series, worth watching and needs an award or something because there were some classic scenes in the series, acted out by terrificly talented actors and actresses. A personal favourite is episode 11, when two of my favourites died. That scene was so powerful and moving that it deserved an Emmy Award for the two in that scene. An epic love story lost in the thrills of a tragic tale of murder.
  • this was an excellent show. Couldn't wait to watch the next episodes. We need more like this one.

    this was a very entertaining show. Couldn't wait to see the next episode every week. Kept me busy trying to figure out who the killer (s) were. We need more like this please! The actors were also good. Many I had never seen before. I liked the way it ended, but it was sad as well. Couldn't help but feel sorry for Henry and for Abby. Hated to see some of the characters die that we liked. Some things I couldn't figure out, for example the blond that was burned to death. Who did that? Noone ever said. And her poor little dog. What ever happened to him
  • Nice tv show

    Ok Harpers Island is a tv show that has one single challenge: catch the audience why? simple on thing is watch an horror movie you know its beginning and end but watch a 13-episodes tv show its hard you have to fill the episodes to make them at least last 40 minutes The "catch" of the show: the deaths... that makes audience stay watching the episode until the end and make people ask themselves the classic question "Who is going to die next?" I agree on stupid deaths like Booth, emotional and tearfull ones like Cal, Chloe and Trish and absolutly clever killings (The trap for Trish's Dad was awsome!)
    Overral the show is amazing not a 10 but its a good tv show that make us know that the "horror genre" doesnt only has effect on the big screen but on the small too
    I say it hundreds of times but im gonna say it again: Chloe and Cal WHY?!?!??! The scene when they die its so emotional i cry every time i remember it poor Chloe poor Cal my favorite couple a shame they didn't survive...
    Excelent nice tv show

    XO XO

  • An original show that tried out a concept that should be explored more by networks and brought the slasher horror genre to the small screen.

    HARPER'S ISLAND started off with a good promise. Thirteen episodes, thirteen weeks, no open endings, no network backstabbing, no tricks. Just a show with a full rounded up story with a genre that was very exciting to be spread over such a long time frame.
    And against critical reviews and viewers running the other way, HP held it's own. The show didn't mind following the rules of every standard horror movie, and if you were looking for something as ingenius as some claim the Saw-franchise to be, you were at the wrong address, but what the show did do was entertain you endlessly with thirteen episodes full of action, chasing and gruesome murders. Scary the show never was. Perhaps in it's early stages when everybody was silently killed off without anybody else noticing, and we were all guessing what and who could be next, but as the show moved on and one of the killers identity was revealed, the scary was gone for sure. Luckily, it didn't hurt the show, in fact, the final episodes were the best. There was no bs anymore, you had the small group of main characters we all guessed would make it until the end, but, that was around episode 10, and we had still some hours to go, from then, it became hard.
    Because Uncle Marty and Cousin Ben weren't people you missed. Even Trish' dad was someone who you didn't care for. But once the show started killing off characters you followed around for so long, you started investing in and you actually liked even though they represented the stupidity of a warthog. The show treated those farewells with dignity, serving the best scenes as the final ones of almost beloved characters like Chloe and Cal or Trish. It even came so far that the show became good with shocking twists, great episode endings and the satisfying thought everything would be resolved by the final episode. The ending wasn't very surprising, but that doesn't matter. Harper's Island is a true treat for horror fans, and a happy tale for those who endured open endings by shows who were canceled out of the blue. All in one a decent show, with good characters, nice action, original murders and a good written murder mystery. This definately should not be the last in this genre on TV.
  • Decent show that uses its characters and locations, but it takes long before things start rollin' and feels a little stretched out.

    Harper's Island was a good thriller/horror show that doesn't survive on its - unlike other shows and movies - gore killings, but on its good acting and storylines. The first 5 episodes are a bit slow, but once Thomas Wellington gets killed and the murders are starting to happen in the open, it becomes a great show. But the first 5 episodes aren't bad either. Episode 11 is my favorite.

    The murders are o.k. and sometimes very emotional (Cal, Chloe, Trish), but you get bored by the stabbing after a while. It also annoys me that irritating characters survive pretty long (Malcolm, Shane) or even survive (Madison: God, I hated her. She acts stupid the entire time and everyone just forgives her, while a lot of people are actually killed because of her stupid games. But yeah, it's a kid).

    Although I would have liked to see some other people survive too (see emotional deaths), I wasn't surprised who survived and who didn't. As the show progressed, you could feel which way it was going and it ended predictable and lame. A shame.

    But overall, a nice miniseries which certainly didn't have to be any longer. Maybe it would have been better if it were just 10 episodes and left some characters/deaths out, otherwise it would be too bloody for its own good.
  • holy F***kin A!!! This show is freaking AMAZING! it's like a 13 hour movie! *thunderous applauses*

    after recording the last episodes of the show, i finally had time to see it. and man! by the end of the show, i slowly stood up and started clapping. it's the best mystery thriller, whatever you call it, it IS THE BEST! it would've made a great movie but all the facts and good stuff would've been cut so let's leave it as is. a freaking amazing tv show! from start to finish, you are guessing who!? not just who is the killer, but who is next! and also, why!? man, this is a great show. and to think, i almost didn't watch it coz i thought it was another drama about love triangles. i never saw the commercial! but thanks to all the hype that people we're making, i got all curious and decided to watch it. amazing. I hope there will be a marathon with no commercials. i will definitely wait for the DVD for this. did i mention amazing?? AMAZING!
  • This was a great show considering the fact that it was very unique and intriguing. It was like watching a scripted reality show you were always excited about seeing. Te mystery and suspense always excelled and the storyline wasn't bad at all.

    This is one of the best shows I have ever seen. The uniqueness they used in this show was great. The mystery had me biting my nails every week and the end was the best ending. This is even better than a horror movie. I loved the cast that included Katie Cassidy, Matt Barr, Gina Holden, and Cameron Richardson. Plus the new faces that I had a chance to see. I loved how they made it interesting and not seem like a low budget horror movie that seemed to be remake of something. I am actually shocked how it ended...I mean I did know it was Henry but it didn't have a "years later" which was good. Thank god there is no season two because it doesn't need it. It was a great show...period.
  • Good start + long wait for bad finish = lousy show

    This show was a good idea gone bad. The first several episodes were fun because you didn't know who would die next or how they would die. Sadly, as the show continued, it got hokier and hokier. The charachters became caricatures. I realize that it was not meant to be art, but, it started to seem as though the writers were trying to see just how many cliches they could cram into every episode. The fact that everytime the group split up, somebody else either disappeared or died, never once stopped them from breaking up again to investigate something or other. The final reveal of the so-called motive lowered the show from mindless entertainment to simply mindless. If the producers went into this show knowing where they were going to end up they should've just made it a two-part miniseries because, the end just wasn't worth the wait of all those episodes.
  • A genius idea. A show that actually lasts one season. Anyone can die at any time the possibilities are nearly limitless. Too bad the story was cookie cutter terrible.

    I refuse to give this show a bad review. I dont know whether to support this show or pan it for maybe messing up a great television idea. A one season show that is also a thriller is one of the best ideas I have seen in recent TV history. There is a wedding on Harpers Island, but someone is killing all of the guests. At first the guests don't even realize they are disappearing, but soon panic ensues, there is a killer on the loose. Maybe even the same killer that killed all those people years ago.

    No the acting was never great. In fact most of the veteran actors die fairly soon. Mediocre acting would still have carried the show if the story was more engaging. I cared maybe about two of the characters and they died unceremoniously. By the end of the show it becomes a victim of its own great idea. NOW I care more about the characters but the show cant properly resolve itself. frankly like most of the shows on TV it needed better writing. Someone to engage us early on and have us identify with and adopt characters right away.
  • Could have been better

    Overall i think was a good show, but there were some BIG fails.
    The people disapearing and no one caring or worring, just assuming they got back home was absurd. That would never happen in real life, specially is the bags were still in the bedroom.
    There were a lot of great and scary scenes and the whole thing with Jimmy to make the audience focus on him was good, but the ending result i think was bad.
    I think that Henry being the killer was too wrong, i mean, all that drama about being lied to his whole life, c'mon you were adopted, get over, it it not a reason to go and kill a lot of people, and people that had nothing to do with, he could just tried to hook up with Abby instead of making all that story, that to me was a big downer.
  • If you like horror/thrillers then this is a good show for you! It may be predictable to some but it's still an excellent show! Shows alot of carnage for a tv show on CBS! A murder mystery with twists and turns to the end!

    I enjoyed this series very much. There are not enough shows like this on. I'm a Buffy/Angel/Dead like me/ Six feet under/Roswell/Wonderfalls/ Supernatural/ Veronica Mars/Firefly ect... Fan so now you know the kind of shows I like this one fits right in. We need more sci fi more horror! (They always seem to get cancelled!)We went into this show know it would only be 13 episodes with a high body count and it delivers!!!! I would even rewatch it. It's deffanitly worth the watch! I cringed at some of the grusome scenes it kept me n the edge of my seat!
  • Great Show! Will miss it!

    Great Mini Series.....hate to see it end...great acting and it was so very suspenseful...made me sit on the edge of my chair and I have not done that in YEARS! A little gory though in some parts :(
    I did not miss one show and I wish that it was on again in the fall, a continuation of it or a sequel, but hopefully the producer will come up with something else very similar very soon. It reminded me of older movies and very suspenseful ones, kinda like Alfred Hitchcock. After all, I did grow up in the sixties.....thank you for creating such a good one-
  • Something different, and great twists!

    Glad that CBS finally figured out that people needed something original, other than CSI:Wherever and crap reality TV. Thanks for giving me something to get through the summer! I had no idea who the killer is, and when it was revealed, I was truly shocked. I thought they did a great job keeping it under wraps. The characters were good; they made me care, and I felt bad for some of the people that got killed off. Plus the suspense kept me tuning in week after week. Will definitely pick this one up on DVD and relive the mystery. If you didn't watch it or didn't keep up, do it now! You won't be sorry!
< 1 2 3