Monday, November 19, 2012

The Reeds

The Reeds (2010)
Dir. Nick Cohen
Written by Chris Baker, Mark Anthony Galluzzo (“contributing writer,” whatever that means)
Starring Anna Brewster, Geoff Bell, Daniel Caltagirone

    Another from that indie horror “8 Films to Die For” circuit (in this case from the first last year, 2010), this one shares a lot in common with fellow British indie horror wannabe SALVAGE. Again, we got a bunch of pretty young Brits giving reasonably good performances at being menaced in a closed location by a mostly unseen evil. I have to confess, though, that I kinda liked this one, even though there’s not much original here. It’s the same old ghostly shenanigans, but it has basically the gimmicks from maybe three average horror films mashed together to make a single film that may not completely make sense upon further reflection but is at least complete enough to hold your interest. Independently, none of these gimmicks would be enough to blow your mind, and even together they’re derivative as hell-- but it does make it kind of difficult to guess where things are going.

The strength of the movie, though, is actually in its execution more than its labored concept. We’ve got your typical motley crew of college kids to pick off, and this time they’re on a boat stuck out on a winding marsh somewhere. Not really much of a concept to build off of, but cinematographer Dennis Madden manages to evoke something very eerie about the endless fields of swaying reeds which seem to expand as far as the eye can see in every direction. It feels strange and lonely and isolated, but with a kind of desolate beauty, too. That helps bolster the weirdness of everything that happens, so even when the movie doesn’t quite have the imagination to truly creep you out, it still has a unique spooky flavor to it. You don’t see too many movies that marry genuine beauty to uncanny dread, so even if the horror isn’t the best it’s kind of a treat to see the two paired so successfully here. Next time, I hope director Cohen stops worrying about the story so much and lets some nightmare logic take ahold of his pretty images and unusual setting. 

And check out Dan P's take as ABBOT AND COSTELLO MEET THE REEDMAN.


BOOBIES: Don't think so.
SEQUEL: Not a sequel to BRASSED OFF as far as I can tell. Proposed prequel THE WOODWINDS has yet to get off the ground.
OBSCURITY LEVEL: High. Indie horror no one would ever have heard of except for its inclusion in the After Dark Festival.
SATANISTS: There's some kind of weird ritual, but I don't think Satan is directly implicated.
SLASHERS: Not in the traditional sense.
CURSES: Nothing specific.
ALEX MADE IT THROUGH AWAKE: N/A. Alex points out that she was, in fact, awake for possibly as much as two or three minutes at the very start.

1 comment:

  1. I was... actually there.... any very much asleep for this one... I believe I fell asleep at like minute -1 and slept past the end +10 minutes.