Movie Number– 102
Title– The Reeds (2010)
Running Time– 86 minutes
Director– Nick Cohen
Writer– Chris Barker, Mark Anthony Galluzzo (contributing)
Starring– Anna Brewster, O.T. Fagbenle, Will Mellor, Daniel Caltagirone, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Emma Catherwood, Geoff Bell, Eli Marienthal
The Reeds is the perfect example of how much of a mixed bag the After Dark Horrorfest movies can be. I praised the first movie I reviewed in the collection, calling it an asset to the collection, so my hopes were high that The Reeds would be as good, if not better than Lake Mungo. Unfortunately, that was far from the case.
The Reeds is about of group of friends in England who head out to the Norfolk Broads to spend a weekend boating, drinking, and to simply have a good time. On their way to the pub, they try making there way between the incredibly dense reeds that surround the small river, and things start to take a drastic turn for the worse. The boat they are on hits something underwater, causing one of the friends to injure himself. When they try to get help, things go from “worse” to “disastrous” as they try to fight for survival against the supernatural and all the all-too-real.
Director Nick Cohen has steered this boat astray in more ways than one, and the end result is nothing short of a mess. The acting ranges from below average to above average, but I was never blown away by any of the performances. The actor can only do as well as the script he is given, however, and writers Barker and Gazzullo have to bear some of the guilt for this film as it made very little sense. Just when I thought I had the movie figured out, the last couple seconds of the film happen and I am taken right back to square one with trying to figure out just what the hell is going on.
The original score by Vincent Watts was excellent, and I noticed this right from the beginning of the film. Special effects also had a key role in this one, boasting more gore than Lake Mungo, but not too much to turn someone off. Word of warning: there is implied animal cruelty in the film that will be sure to turn a few people off. The Reeds gains a star and a half from me because there were a couple spots that made me jump, and a couple other spots that the tension was well earned. Unfortunately these were small parts, and the rest of the film felt underdeveloped and perplexing. The script could have used a couple more rewrites because there is an interesting concept here, but the full potential is never reached.
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Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.