• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 9, 2009
  • Season #: 1 , 3
Harper's Island Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: A group of friends at Harper's Island for a wedding are slowly being murdered one by one.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Harper's Island is an elaborate horror movie, a twentysomething slasher flick with a really good wardrobe, a first-rate cast and 13 weeks worth of twists and subplots.
  2. 80
    That single season will be hellacious fun. Stuffed with visual puns and sly homages to horror movies from Jaws to Poltergeist, Harper's Island relentlessly mocks film grammar with set pieces that take off in unexpected directions.
  3. The writing is just clever enough to probably make the killing-a-week conceit work. And if you're into watching a phalanx of almost-recognizable actors you've seen in work you can almost remember, this is the series for you. Beyond that, it's just plain fun.
  4. 63
    As guilty pleasures go, Harper's Island may hit the spot. Though perhaps it would have worked best as a summer series?
  5. Part soap opera, part horror movie, all whodunit, Harper's is diverting, and only infrequently frightening, fantasy soap opera.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    R-rated horror flicks have rendered the scariness of Harper's abrupt murders mild stuff; the series could have used more of Christie's tight plotting.
  7. Reviewed by: Daniel Carlson
    Ultimately, the series commits the greatest sin of the thriller genre: It's boring.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Jul 9, 2012
    This show amazed me when I watched it. I like the idea of people in a show being killed off one by one until it's just the killer and one person left. Unfortunately I can't seem to find many shows that can do it as well as this show did. I found the acting to be fine. The special effects were nothing special but they weren't bad. Also, it didn't go for very long. Now, if you're reading this you may be thinking "Then why did he rate it 10?", well, because the character development was amazing and there was a plot twist that most people wouldn't have seen coming. After finishing the finale I think my mouth was open (okay I'm kind of exaggerating but whatever). I'm not entirely sure why but I am left with extremely fond memories of this show and in the end isn't that what really counts? I know it's not a professional review but I loved it and I can't entirely explain all the reasons. Now you might be thinking "Why did he type this if he couldn't completely explain it?", well, SHUT UP! Expand
  2. Feb 22, 2013
    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 memories...Until 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. Expand
  3. May 23, 2012
    This show really needs to just ****ING GET ON WITH IT!! Every episode is just full of the characters doing boring mundane stuff, then someone dies at the end. So your thinking in the next episode they find the body and it will all kick of - Wrong! The bodies somehow go unnoticed and everyone just carries on doing boring crap. It may well get better later but you have to sit through at least 4 episodes in which absolutely nothing happens to get to it. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews