Dark Harvest (2023) Ending Explained

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pge4NmBzdkE\"

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Dark Harvest Plot Summary

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Dark Harvest, from 30 Days Of Night director David Slade, kicks off with an ominous warning about a legendary creature known as Sawtooth Jack.

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Every Halloween, Jack rises from the cornfields in the rural town of Bastion, Illinois, where he fights his way through groups of mask-wearing high school boys who try to stop him from entering the local church before midnight. If Jack manages to make it beyond the church gates, the town and their harvest will be doomed, according to the legend.

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The boy who manages to slay Jack wins a new car and a better house for their parents, so there is an incentive to take part, despite the risk of having one’s head lopped off by the menacing creature.

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At the start of Dark Harvest, Jack is captured by the high schoolers. One of them – Jim – kills the monster and then (as tradition dictates) eats his bloody entrails. Following his victory, Jim receives his prize, a shiny new Cadillac, and we watch him say goodbye to his younger brother Richie before he drives out of town to start life anew. 

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A year later Sawtooth Jack is about to rise again. Richie gears himself up to take part in the hunt, against the better wishes of his parents who, for reasons that later become clear, don’t want him to take part.

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When Richie does participate in this deadly Halloween tradition, he discovers a secret that the adults of the community have been trying to hide. What is this secret? Let’s take a closer look at the movie.

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Why does Sawtooth Jack head towards the church?

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We don’t learn a lot about Sawtooth Jack’s origins but we do know that the town’s harvest will be ruined if they fail to catch him before he reaches the church gates. This is why the town mayor and the local police chief give the job of killing the monster to the high school boys in the town. 

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The reason for Jack heading to the church is unexplained but judging by events that happen later in the movie, it’s probably his way of seeking vengeance on the townsfolk. 

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Why does Richie want to take part in the hunt?

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According to the rules of the hunt, the sibling of the past year’s Run isn’t allowed to take part. The reason for this seems to be to let other families win a new home but at the end of the movie, another reason becomes clear. 

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Richie wants to take part in the hunt, despite the rule, as he wants to prove his worth and not be seen as a coward. His parents aren’t happy about this and neither is the police chief, but Richie disregards what they tell him and proceeds with the hunt anyway. 

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He isn’t the only person to participate in the hunt when they’re not supposed to. Girls aren’t allowed to take part either but when Richie meets a local Black girl named Kelly, who others consider an outcast because of her low status and skin colour, the two of them team up in pursuit of Sawtooth Jack. 

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What is the truth about Sawtooth Jack?

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The hunt is on! For most of those taking part, a bloody death awaits them as Jack slices them apart, but Richie and Kelly manage to survive the night. As we near the movie’s close, the two catch up to Jack. 

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Richie points his gun at the monster but he doesn’t shoot. Why? Because he recognizes the belt around Jack’s waist. It’s the same belt his brother used to wear. 

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At this point, Jack’s identity becomes clear – it’s Jim, or at least a monstrous version of his former self.

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Richie realizes that his brother didn’t leave town as his parents had led him to believe. After driving away in the Cadillac, Jim was captured, buried alive, and once dead, placed on a cross and hung up in a cornfield. On Halloween night, Jim came back to life as Sawtooth Jack and made the run for the church. As suggested earlier, this was probably his way to seek vengeance on the townsfolk who orchestrated his death as he knew the town’s harvest would be destroyed.

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Jim’s fate was the same fate that had befallen previous victors of the hunt. This begs the question – why were they killed?

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If the adult members of the town knew they would come back as Sawtooth Jack, why didn’t they let them leave? Did they think their harvest would be ruined if the resurrection didn’t take place? We’re unsure of the answer but here’s what we do know – Richie’s parents didn’t want him to take part in the hunt because they didn’t want him to discover the truth about Jim. They were also afraid that their son would fall victim to the same fate. 

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What happens to Sawtooth Jack?

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After realizing what has happened to Jim, Richie decides to help him reach the church. But it’s not long before the surviving high schoolers catch up to them. One of them, Riley, shoots and wounds Jack on the steps of the church. He thinks he is about to become the victor but then Jack takes Richie’s hands and encourages him to end his suffering.

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Richie reluctantly shoots Jack and becomes the winner of the hunt, much to his regret.

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What happens to Richie?

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Richie wins the car and together with Kelly, takes the drive to the town’s exit. But before they can escape town, the police chief stops them and forces Richie into the cornfield at gunpoint. He leads him to the burial site where all the past winners had been buried. But before he can dispose of Richie, the young teen pulls out a gun and kills him. 

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Unfortunately, Richie isn’t able to return to Kelly. A farmer comes out of the darkness – the same man that tied the past victors to the cross – and knocks Richie over the head with a shovel. He then buries Richie alive.

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During the post-credits scene, we see the farmer return to tie the dead body of Richie to the cross. He then places a pumpkin head over the unfortunate teen’s head. We then cut to a year later and see Richie transform into Sawtooth Jack. His father arrives, cuts him down, and kills the intervening farmer.

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In the final scene, Sawtooth Jack/Richie stands before the father. “Burn it all down” shouts the father to his son, giving him permission (not that he needed it) to take his revenge on the townsfolk.

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Read More: Dark Harvest Movie Review

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Feel free to check out more of our movie reviews here!

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