Harlow's Creek is a 2018 horror/drama movie directed by Joaquin Phoenix


This is the story of Family Sanderson, who want to take a short vacational trip to their lodge in the small town Harlow's Creek. As they arrive in the isolated lodge, they soon notice that they're not


Ellie and Steve Sanderson have been married for 19 years, but after the infidelity of Steve, which his wife found out, Ellie barely doesn't talk to him anymore. To make things up, Steve decides to take his wife and their children Gemma, Fawn and Violet to the family's lodge in a small town Harlow's Creek. The main plot on the way their is Gemma exposing Fawn's homosexuality to the family, which leads Steve to completely freak out and Fawn to run in the woods and dissapear. After calming down her husband through a slap in the face, Ellie suggests to drive straight to the lodge, due to the facts that Violet got tired and from there they can eventually call the local ranger to set up a search team to look for Fawn. As they arrive at the lodge, they find a terrified and shocked Fawn in front of the door. He tells them about himself being tracked by masked persons, who suddendly dissapeared. Nobody except of his mother believes him, so she tries calling the local ranger but they all realize soon, that the line has been cut through. After Steve successfully persuaded the family, that Fawn was just hallucinating. The children have to go upstairs in their rooms and the parents talked about the whole situation. After a tough argument, they hear a knock on the door. Steve goes invastigating the noise. As he's standing in front of the cabin he gets knocked out by a masked person. Ellie,visibly shocked, runs up the stairs to put their kids to safety. After she convinced Violet and Fawn to hide, Gemma thinks it's a prank and tells her mother loudly, that she's done with always being second choice and that she's pregnant. Before finishing the sentence, Ellie gets hit with a plank and the screaming Gemma gets stunned. In the next sequence Steve wakes up and finds himself and his family tied to wood slats. In front of them there are 4 persons with carnival-like masks over the face. As the family members all awoke, the people remove their masks and a teenage boy, 2 teenage girls and a woman in her 40's come to the fore, telling the family they want to play some games with them. After constantly asking the 4 persons what they want and to let them go, the older woman, who goes by the name Sue, knocks them out again one by one. After awaking, the family finds themselved tied with cables to wooden chairs. Sue tells the first game's instructions. The family has to answer questions without lying, otherwise they'll get electroshocked. After a few harmless questions, the blonde haired girl, who goes by the name Tara, asks Steve who out of his family he would kill, if he had to. After being electroshocked twice for saying "No one" and himself, he names his son. After completely loosing it, Fawn asks his Dad what the name of the child he and Diane (his affair) have together Ellie starts yelling at Steve and she asks Fawn, how he could've known something like that. As he tells her,that he saw them and Steve paid him for not telling anyone the lights go out. As sue turns them on again and Gemma has 4 buzzers in front of her, one for each of her family members. Each of the remaining 4 members has to ask her a harmful question and she can decide, who to electroshock. After more or less harmless questions, it's Fawns turn who asks her who the father of her unborn child is, visibly knowing the answer. As he puts her under pressure she cries and start electroshock him multiple times till he seems comatose. The lights go out and you hear Ellie screaming. Fawn wakes up in his bed, on the chair next to it there's the boy sitting, who tells him to whisper and introduces himself as Josh. They have a conversation, where it seems, that Josh doesn't want to harm the family and especially him. They talk about Fawn's wish of leaving it all behind and drive to the sea, when suddendly the dark haired teenage girl, named Pruedence, interrupts them. Meanwhile the still tied up remaining members of the family sit down in the living room. Violet tries to calm down the yelling Steve, who puts his devastation on The crying Gemma. While watching this scenario, Ellie suddendly realizes what happend. She whispers "You did it.", leaving the rest of the family quiet. She tells Steve about her accusation of him being the father of Gemma's unborn child. Gemma begins crying harder and tells Ellie about Steve as he sexually abused her. He tells her a liar as Ellie looses it and yells at Steve and that she swears to god, she will murder him. Sue, who watched the whole situation with joy as Pruedence tells her about Fawn's awakening. Sue goes upstairs to see what she means, telling her afterwards to bring him back to the others. As Sue wants to follow them, Josh, who turns out to be her son, holds her back and tells him about his intentions of leaving together with Fawn to start a new life. She repeatedly tells him, that Fawn doesn't love him and will escape whenever he gets the chance to. As he tells her, that it's serious and that he loves him (which they eventually discussed, as the scene in the living room happened), so she agrees. As they arrive downstairs, Ellie stands in front of her 3 children. Prue holds Gemma, Tara holds Violet and Sue goes over to get Fawn. They now play a round of "Would you rather?", and Ellie now has a knife and can decide between each of her children, who she wants to kill. After thinking, she furiously runs to the still tied Steve, stabbing the knife into his heart, killing him immeadiatly. She goes back to her spot and Sue tells her, that killing Steve wasn't an option, so she takes a knife hidden in her pocket anf stabs Fawn in the side, making him sink to the ground. Ellie and Josh run to him holding his hand, making Ellie look at Josh doubting and tells him to leave. While he leaves, Fawns head tilts to the side and he lipsyncs "I love you" in his direction. Josh starts arguing and yelling at his mother, while Pruedence, who is his sister, tries to calm them. Sue slaps both of them for disrespecting her and tells Josh to put Fawn's body on the back of her Pickup-Truck, ehich he does. Meanwhile she's fighting with Pruedence about being a family and protection, as Pruedence tells the whole background story of the "family". Sue did such things with other families too and kept one child of each family she erased as a kind of trophy. Sue then takes a plate and smashes it into Pruedence's face, which makes her feel sorry the next second. Meanwhile in the living room, Ellie tricks Tara with asking her what, Sue and Pruedence talk about. She takes the knife at her husbands heart and stabs her in the head making her fall to the ground. She now frees her daughters, while Sue and Pruedence run in the living room to see what happened. As Sue sees her "daughters" lifeless body, she freaks out and attempt to strangle Gemma with a cable, while Pruedence fights with Ellie. Suddendly Violet takes the knife and cut Pruedence's throat. Full of fear and tracked by Sue she runs upstairs and locks herself in the bathroom. Meanwhile Ellie kneels over the obviously lifeless body of Gemma and takes the oppurtunity to take her out of the lodge, where she put themselves in the family's car and drive away. As Sue hears the engine, she breaks in the door only to see Violet, who commited suicide by cutting her own throat. Sue runs downstairs to get in her car noticing, that it's gone. She screams loudly and a black screen appears. In the next scenery, you get to know, that three months have passed and you see a vehicle driving down the shore. It's revealed to be Josh driving. As they arrived at the beach you see him driving a person in a wheelchair down to the water, which is revealed to be a recovered Fawn. He says "We made it." and the two kiss. In the last scene there are Ellie and Gemma, with a filled stomach who enter a hospital. At the end you see a family celebrating thanksgiving in a lodge in the forest and as thunder crashed you can see Sue's silhouette in the pouring rain.


  • Ellie
  • Gemma
  • Unborn child
  • Fawn
  • Josh
  • Sue


Steve Sanderson- Stabbed in the heart by Ellie, because he sexually abused Gemma

Tara- Stabbed in the head by Ellie

Prudence- Throat slit by Violet

Violet Sanderson- Suicide through slitting her own throat with a knife


Sarah Michelle Gellar as Eleanor "Ellie" Sanderson

Dylan McDermott as Steve Sanderson

Emma Roberts as Gemma Sanderson

Felix Allen as Fawn Sanderson

Sasha Pieterse as Violet Sanderson

Juliette Lewis as Susan "Sue"

Nat Wolff as Josh

Billie Lourd as Tara

Chloe Bridges as Pruedence "Prue"

Mädchen Amick as Diane Valmon, Steve's affaire

Main Cast

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.