Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Another one of the After Dark Film Festival/Eight Films to Die For movies, The Reeds, a UK production directed by Nick Cohen, is probably one of the weaker in the series.
A group of young Londoners decide to rent a boat for a weekend excursion, for reasons that are never really explained. They don’t seem to have much boating expertise, and their only goal once they get the boat is to get to the pub before it closes. I’m no expert on England, but I’ll bet there is a pub somewhere in London, which would have been a simpler proposition. They are the typical set-up group for a slasher flick, the arrogant jock, the dependable guy, the pretty girl, the token black guy. In keeping with current vogue, none of them are really that likeable, and none demonstrate much intelligence or competence (At one point, one of the girls thinks there’s someone at the cabin door, and reacts by firing a flare gun at the navigation map, setting the boat on fire.). Once they are on the boat, they start off through a more-or-less swamp, quickly getting lost in thick reeds. Hence the name. They soon encounter some sinister children, and realize they are being stalked and are in danger. One by one, they die.
But. For the most part, they aren’t killed by the enemy, but by each other. They run their boat aground, they set each other on fire, they mistake one of their party for the Bad Guy and hack the person to death. They are the Three (six, actually) Stooges of horror victims. I was hoping the end was going to be no one was really after them the whole time, but no luck. Towards the finale, the film goes supernatural on us, plays with a muddled timeline, and features a “twist” you can see coming from a mile away.
The acting is reasonably good, although the script calls for the characters to do stupid things. Photography is a bit of a mess, as the camera occasionally bobs up and down, to give it that “amateur” feel, I suppose (although it isn’t presented as “found” footage, so why bother), but I kept wishing they’d hold the damn camera still.
I’d recommend you give this one a pass, but it’s a free country (depending on where you are, of course) and you can make your own decisions (unless you’re nine, in which case you’re too young to see someone shot in the face with a shotgun, and should watch Hannah Montana instead – although that might scar you worse).