5 out of 10
Release Date: 3rd August 2012 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Nick Cohen (Doctors (TV) / Eastenders (TV))
Cast: Anna Brewster, Daniel Caltagirone, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Will Mellor, O.T. Fagbenle with Emma Catherwood and Geoff Bell
Writer: Mark A. Galluzzo & Chris Baker
Trailer: THE REEDS
READ MATT USHER’S STOOOOPID REVIEW AT THE BOTTOM OF THE below OF THE LOWEST OF THE PAGE…>!
Here’s a great little supernatural thriller set on the Norfolk Broads. The Reeds‘ plot is nice and tight and the acting is generally good. Six friends from London head off to East England to hire a boat and spend the weekend in each others’ company. We have a good sample of uptight, relaxed, aggressive and dippy aboard. No sooner have they hired the boat from a weird local with warnings that ‘the reeds can play tricks on yer’, our heroes are be-set with rain, thunder and lightning, never ending dykes and movement out there in the reeds. You’re left to guess the rest and although this is a fairly generic thriller, I’m sure you’ll find the outcome quite satisfying. The cast, who are mainly TV actors acquit themselves with aplomb but sadly theres always one who lets the side down. Step forward O.T. Fagbenle (THE INTERCEPTOR). It would seem that the makers reserved all of the bad lines from the script and the dim-witted reactions for his character. I don’t know how this dumb pretty boy seems to outlive most of his friends, in a situation like this, its just not feasible. Maybe its not his fault, it would take a pretty expensive actor to be able to energise a role this pathologically vacant. It’s rare that a single performance can render a movie silly and if it wasn’t for the well thoughout story line and the rest of the cast he would have beached the whole thing.
Much is made of the spooky setting with it’s labyrinth of identical waterways and swaying reeds. The film does well to convey the cut off nature of the region and also sprinkles the plot with drops of paganism and the occult. As the cast are gradually despatched in imaginative ways we are rarely reminded that this is a no-budget independent movie. The chases are well shot, the gore is effective, the sound effects are evocative. The prowling camerawork is good. Only the prelude is shonky and could have been edited out without bothering anyone. The trailer is also rotten, hiding what a good little movie this is.
We’ve been here before of course with movies like Triangle and The Others but it’s not a bad thing to put a spin on other good pics in the genre. This feels fresh, but its not a game changer. Geoff Bell’s (ROUTE IRISH) boat yard owner is a great endorsement of the horror staple. You know, the creepy old man who non-chalantly sends the yuppies off to their collective doom with a crusty local accent and a wink. Just brilliant.
5.5 out of 10 – A neat but generic supernatural thriller with a few fresh riffs on a very well trodden road. It’s helped out immensely by its creepy Norfolk Broads setting and a ripe Geoff Bell cameo. Above average DTV material. Not quite cinema-worthy though.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Anna Brewster: Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Mrs Henderson Presents, Anita & Me
- OT Fagbenle: The Interceptor (TV)
- Scarlet Alice Johnson: Pramface (TV), Panic Button, Pimp, Adulthood, Eastenders (TV)
- Daniel Caltagirone: Dough, Smoking Guns, Eliminators, Convenience, Outpost 2, The Beach, The Pianist
- Will Mellor: In The Line of Duty (TV), Dates (TV), Broadchurch (TV), White Van Man (TV), Hollyoaks (TV), Two Pints Of Lager and a Packet Of Crisps (TV), Casualty (TV)
- Emma Catherwood: Grace Unplugged, Holby City (TV), Against The Dark, My Kingdom
- Geoff Bell: Mine, Suffragette, North V South, Kingsman – The Secret Service, Comedown, Storage 24, Comes a Bright Day, War Horse, Brighton Rock (2011), Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, Route Irish, Solomon Kane, Mercenaries, Just For The Record, Wild Target (2010), The Heavy, Freebird, Botched, Love Me Still, Tormented, Green Street, The Business, Mean Machine