Over the last few years, modern British film has put some serious effort in to exploring the horror genre, maintaining its gritty name but branching out even more.
Over the last few
years, modern British film has put some serious effort in to exploring the
horror genre, maintaining its gritty name but branching out even more. James
Waktins brought us chilling horror/thriller Eden Lake and most recently Hammer
Studios did exactly what it does best with Gothic horror The Woman in Black, coincidentally also
directed by Watkins. Nick Cohen’s The Reeds also enters the realm of horror, coming to us as part of
the fourth After Dark Horror Fest.
A group of twenty-something friends escape the hustle and bustle
of London by driving to the country for a weekend boating trip. Upon their arrival, harbour owner Mr Croker
(Geoff Bell) informs them that only
one boat is available and at the deserted harbour, a strange, silent gang of
hooded youths hang around the boat.
The youths eventually scarper but as the group begin their holiday,
events start to take a turn for the worst. Armed only with an out of date map and mobile phones with no
signal, they soon become lost in a labyrinth of waterways amongst the
reeds. Their boat becomes punctured
and as they try to escape their predicament, something sinister lurks close by.
It was probably a matter of time before someone took a walk
around the Norfolk Broads and thought, hey, what if something was actually
lurking in amongst all those clusters of razor sharp reeds? There is high potential for becoming
lost and feeling helpless in such empty, bleak surroundings. In this sense, the location of The
Reeds is eerie and haunting, with the wet, foggy British
weather and the grainy filming that comes with British cinema bringing real
atmosphere and interesting visuals.
The film has all the main clichés of the horror genre with its
characters and themes, but this is also where it lets itself down. It lacks the intensity and suspense of
similar films of the horror genre.
The action runs at a steady pace, but the confusing plot struggles to
catch up as you feel yourself constantly waiting for answers to the twists and
The Reeds has a pretty solid cast. Performances that stand out come from Anna Brewster as protagonist Anna and O.T. Fagbenle as love interest, Nick. Will Mellor,
recently seen in television’s White Van
Man and formerly Two Pints of Lager
and a Packet of Crisps brings the same jack-the-lad comedy persona to the
role of Chris. The film is packed
with cheesy (but kind of amusing) nods to modern Britain, with girls in Uggs,
hooded youths and Mellor having been injured declaring that he ‘feels like a f*cking
Overall, The Reeds is a semi-decent British horror but what
it really lacks is a stronger, tighter plotline and a serious dose of suspense. The reality is there is a lot better
out there on offer from British film and so can you can be forgiven for expecting
a lot more.