Lionsgate // 2009 // 86 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 2nd, 2010
Terror comes from the water.
More After Dark tomfoolery. It's a boat trip gone wrong this time, as well as a few ghosts and a dead dog.
A group of smart-ass friends decide to take a boat out into a waterway crammed with reeds and good times. They're aboard the Corsair Star, a pleasure cruiser that holds a lot of beer and has plenty of space to spread out and fornicate, you know, if that's your bag.
The fun comes to an abrupt halt when the boat runs aground on something and one of the party-goers ends up mortally wounded. Panicked and stupid, our heroes scramble to find help. The worse is yet to come, when a group of punk-ass teens who may or may not be ghosts start terrorizing them. Also, there's a redneck with a gun.
And so it appears my experience with the latest After Dark HorrorFest comes to a close...and goes out with a whimper. The Reeds is a nondescript horror outing, toiling with well-worn genre stereotypes and building up to a climax that sputters.
We've all seen it before. Group of feisty twenty-somethings. A fun excursion that turns tragic. Systematic killing. A final twist. The Reeds features all of these and none of them are particularly interesting. The characters are shallow cannon fodder, ending with the requisite female protagonist pulling through in the clutch. I didn't care about any of them. The boat trip is tame and boring, and the manner in which the tragedy befalls our happy crew is a credibility stretcher. And the big mystery behind the slayings and the guy in the hood and the punk kids running around the swamp? Blah.
In fact, this film is so generic I'm struggling to pinpoint anything memorable about it. There were some okay gore scenes, including an impalement, its chunky aftermath, some gunshot wounds and...well some other stuff I'm sure. Look, it should be obvious to everyone that I'm struggling here, so I'll just finish this review and we can all get on with our lives. The Reeds isn't terrible, but it's completely disposable and in a sea of horror films, a ghost story as unsatisfying and lukewarm as this deserves to get lost in the, er, reeds.
Lionsgate's After Dark DVD releases have been woefully lean this time around. This one brings a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 audio and nothing else.
It would have been a lot cooler if The Reeds had been about a maniacal woodwind band instead.
Guilty of putting me to sleep.
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Scales of Justice
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R