Monday, November 10, 2014

Film Review: The Reeds (2010)

The Reeds (Review)
United Kingdom/2010
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...unbearably slow -- and this is coming from a hardcore slow-burn fan."

A group of young friends go boating, but find themselves surrounded by a mysterious presence hidden in the reeds.

The Reeds is an interesting film. It begins with the typical friends-going-on-vacation-and-drinking "character development" and eventually evolves into more of a mystery-horror film. Strange things begin to occur as they maneuver the reeds, and it eventually leads to bloody consequences. Is it in their heads? Are they prey for a vicious creature? Or a supernatural presence? Unfortunately, it never feels all-too engaging, and I don't think there is a climax. The ending is ambiguous, but not rightfully so; it's one of those endings where if it had ended a few minutes earlier, it would have been at least decent.

Despite its interesting concept, The Reeds miserably fails at execution. I think the worst part about it is the unbearably slow pace. Occasionally it feels like a slow-burn with some mild suspense, but most of the time The Reeds is slow-paced for the sake of being slow-paced! A slow-pace with little engagement or immersion leads to pure boredom. And, that's what The Reeds really is: boredom. There were even a few moments where I dozed off for a bit.

However, there were also a few moments with the aforementioned mild suspense. Every once and a while, The Reeds would deliver a tense or suspenseful scene, and an occasional blood-fest. Not nearly enough to redeem the entire film, but worth noting. I like how the film plays with several possibilities, but I think the execution is flawed. It also feels very messy and convoluted during the end. Speaking of convoluted, the film is also contrived and cliché (words that start with c.)

The acting is okay -- nothing amazing and nothing terrible, simply okay. The cinematography does well in capturing the beautiful setting and scenery -- not bad, at all. I think the setting was one of the best parts of the film; unfortunately, I think it was severely underutilized. The music, now that I think about it, is forgettable; I actually can't even remember if there was any music in this film. Director Nick Cohen has a lot of ideas in his hands, but fails to execute them efficiently; consequently, the film is mostly ineffective, most disappointingly in the horror department.

Overall, The Reeds is a bad horror movie. It has an interesting concept, and a few scenes with decent suspense and gore, but the execution is mediocre. Worst of all, the film's pace is unbearably slow -- and this is coming from a hardcore slow-burn fan. The dreadfully slow pace, the messy story, and the inefficient direction make this a boring and difficult film to get through.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, including some gore, some brief nudity (a brief skinny dipping scene.)

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