The Reeds (2011)
Directed by: Nick Cohen
Starring: Anna Brewster, Daniel Caltagirone, Emma Catherwood, Geoff Bell, Natai Pauwels, O.T. Fagbenle, Reece Chapman, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Scarlett Sabet, Will Mellor
Out now to rent and buy…
What is it all about?
In “The Reeds,” a weekend boating trip through the Norfolk Broads becomes a terrifying, deadly ordeal for six 20-something year old friends as they lose their bearings in the vast reedy tidewaters. The hope of survival and chance of escape diminishes as mysterious forces assault the lost and terrified group.
The Hughes Verdict!
I have to be honest with you and say that I went into this british horror with zero expectations, I mean a film that boasts a minor budget and stars former EastEnder and Hollyoaks actors in the role does give out the impression that this might not be that good. The saying “Never judge a book by its cover” should be applied here because I honestly thought once the end credits appeared that this was a really delightful surprise, The Reeds might not be original for what it offers but it manages to keep the intrigue and mystery all through its running time and not once did I feel bored with the film.
The best thing I can say about this film is that its the best title yet of those After Dark Horror releases that started the trend last year. With the mission to release eight titles a year and with 2011 seeing some decent but flawed titles, 2012 starts off with a huge buzz because this is great, its like a British version of “Triangle” and with many fans out there lapping up that Melissa George horror, I can see them renting out this flick and spreading the word.
We start with the introduction of a trio of couples that decide to rent a boat and do a bit of sailing. The faces you may recognise is those of Will Mellor and Scarlett Alice Johnson who was recently seen in the BBC Three comedy hit Pramface. The concept is pretty straightforward, the gang follow in the now tradition of youngsters going on a holiday and getting in a bit of a mess. Here we see the threat of maybe an Eden Lake 2, in which when they arrive at their hired boat, a gang of hoodies are hanging out and acting like the dicks they are.
If you know nothing about what is going to happen, then what follows with be a nice surprise. I actually sighed when I saw the youngsters because my heart was not set for a cheap version Hoodies on the attack and there have been too many films recently of that nature and even when the gang of friends set off sail in the middle of The Reeds, I half expected the bad kids to follow. For a while the film is aimed in this direction and well done to director Nick Cohen who manages to set off a misleading path and also fill the film with a wonderful atmosphere of dread that helps the film along nicely.
Just when though you think you know where this is going, the film pulls the rug from under you. The Reeds turns into something completely different and one that I enjoyed the most because the mystery is worthy of the watch alone.
The let down is the final half hour which did not quite work out the way it should. The build up is fantastic because you really will be scratching your head but when it came to the execution, you go from scratching to shaking because the horror cliches get thrown at the screen and you can not help but feel this let down what was turning out to be a very good film especially with the final reel twist that smacks of unoriginality and a jolt too far for the viewer to like.
If that negative comments does not put you off then you could no wrong in renting out The Reeds for a cheap Saturday night thrill. The acting is of good standard and there are a few bloody moments to get the gore hounds happy and the mystery for a while is rich full of intrigue and suspense, its just a film of two halves and its pity the climax did not pay off because otherwise The Reeds would have been a strong contender for horror film of the year……..