The Reeds (2010): Donna, Rex, Lou, and Oliver Terrorize the British!
Despite what the title of the review says, I will tell you right up front that a 50’s home maker, a movie reviewer, a rock legend, and one of the UK’s top drunks are not the big evil in tonight’s film. Instead, it is a tale of a weekend getaway gone wrong. Which begs the question, why would anyone go for a jaunty out of town trip with their friends ever? I mean have people not seen what happens when you try and have a relaxing weekend? It always ends up with ghosts or killers in masks made of human skin or cannibals running a motel. It’s nothing but bad business I tell you. It’s even badder business when you take your knucklehead friends out on a boat to cruise down a small river. That never ends up well, and for the characters in today’s thoroughly British horror tale, well, on all levels it just doesn’t turn out well. So come with me on this little trip to The Reeds which is surprisingly not a film about killer woodwind instruments.
A group of friends from London get together for a weekend boating trip, but when they get to the rental place, there’s no boat for them. The clerk gives them a replacement rental up the coast, but they find the boat inhabited by a ragamuffin group of teens. Finally getting their craft situated, they set out for a carefree trip filled with laughs and plenty of drink. Wanting to get to a nearby pub in time for their reservation, the group takes a shortcut though the inlets surrounded on all sides by reeds. As they veer further off course and the sun begins to go down, they soon find the waters not so safe and inviting. As a tragic accident finds one of the group gravely injured, the group begins to be stalked by black jacketed teen hooligans who are possibly sacrificing animals, a shotgun toting man with violence in mind, and a red headed girl who gives people sidelong glances and smirks at them.
So what does it all add up to? Don't go for a holiday in middle of a bunch of reeds because it's not idyllic, not relaxing, and chances are someone will kill you. As for why all the other people in The Reeds are acting funny and trying to off our protagonists, well, I assume its because they were in a movie and that's the kind of thing you do if its a horror film. Director Nick Cohen, who must have a thing for aquatic nightmares as his 2006 rhyming named film Voodoo Lagoon sounds a bit similar, and writer Chris Baker, who penned the Vinnie Jones remake of The Longest Yard retitled The Mean Machine, must have had a high minded idea going into the film, but what came out is more of a scattered mess. If I followed everything sort of correctly, there’s a supernatural revenge element tied in with a plot that is Time Crimes ultra light, but please, don’t quote me on that. All I can be sure of is that there was a group of Brits, they were all pretty much jerks and indistinguishable from each other apart from the fact that some of them had breasts and a fair amount of them met with a grisly fate.
I really wish I had more to say about The Reeds, but there’s little else going on. The strongest suit of the film was the cinematography by Dennis Madden, but even that was uneven at times. While sometimes the film would invoke a tense mood, the dynamic was often broke soon after with quick cuts, murky shots, and poor lighting. I would like to go on a this point and talk a bit about the actors, but while the girls were all very cute (or at least their accent made me think they were, I honestly could never distinguish one from the other enough to have anything to say about them. The Reeds was a film that was just there, and had I realized it was part of the After Dark Horror Fest series, I probably wouldn’t have given it a play at all. On the whole, I’ve found that series of films to be deadly most often because of the torpor it could cause your body to slip into due to boredom, and once the body gives up (and face it, the mind would have gone long ago) you might as well be hanging out in The Reeds getting killed by some people for some reason and then something else happening that makes almost no sense. Like the end of this review, it probably also makes no sense, but that’s just about all I could possibly say about The Reeds, So until they make a horror film with the cast I spoke of in the opening sentence, I think I might just keep both feet on dry land and shove off from horror that’s frankly all wet.