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THE REEDS
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Reviewed by: Eric Walkuski

Directed by: Nick Cohen

Starring:
Anna Brewster
Geoff Bell
Emma Catherwood
O-T Fagbenle

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Six twenty something Londoners who rent a boat for the weekend and travel along a lonely river are eventually faced with catastrophe, of the real and unreal variety.
Is it good movie?

THE REEDS is the kind of movie where everything revolves around a central mystery that you ultimately don't care much about. Focusing on a group of friends who face the dangers of being isolated in the event of a fatal accident, the movie gradually reveals that there's more than just being stuck on a boat in the middle of nowhere to worry about. Namely, ghosts and a hooded figure who shotguns people to death. In that order. Yet the answers to the questions the movie poses don't much matter if the journey getting to them is a drab experience.

It's all drinking and carrying on for our six protagonists until they crash into a mysterious cage that sits just under the water's surface. One of them gets incapacitated (bloodily), another goes off into the reeds for help, and the rest are forced to contend with shadowy figures out in the brush, some inexplicable ghostly visions and a killer who may or may not be lurking in the distance. Soon it's obvious that a curse has trapped them there - but is it actually trying to warn them of a greater threat?

While the acting and production value is more than adequate (although the editing is pretty confusing sometimes), THE REEDS has a strange inertness as a narrative. Similarly, the cast doesn't include anyone in particular to care about. They're mostly indifferent, and when the "bad stuff" commences, their fates aren't that interesting. I can barely recall what happened to a couple of key characters, to be completely honest. (And no, I don't blame the booze.)

Just what is going on in the reeds (and in THE REEDS) is of course the film's "raison d'etre", but it's muddily presented. When all is explained at the end, you'll be more grateful that it signifies the conclusion of the movie. The very last shot is supposed to provide a big "Ohhhh!" moment, but all I could do was shrug and press stop.

Video / Audio

Video: The picture is average, if a little murky during the darker scenes. It's presented in 2:35:1 Widescreen and 16x9 enhanced.

Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital

The Extras

The trailer is all you get.

Last Call
THE REEDS wants to be a twisty mindf*ck-type film in the vein of TRIANGLE or TIME CRIMES - but can't generate enough momentum or suspense to reach those heights. It ends up being a limp and largely unimpressive affair.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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