Reed’s Point, directed by Dan Fabrigar, has all the material to create a creature-horror film. The film starts with a nice build-up – an opening sequence featuring a reel of newspaper clippings overlapped with a voice-over that describes the backdrop of the antagonistic creature, intriguing audiences into the story straight away. We then cut off to an RV crashing. The accident led to several deaths, but two people survived.
A year later, Sarah (Sasha Anne) is convinced her cousin Kelsey (Madison Ekstrand) survived the crash and that something “not human” took her into the woods. Kelsey’s boyfriend, Alex (Evan Adams), the second survivor of the accident, supports Sarah but is skeptical of going on a search. The screenwriters Tricia Aurand, Suzanne DeLaurentiis, and Sandy Lo set up the core elements in the first ten minutes: they tell convincing folklore about the New Jersey Devil, create an incident/character motivations, and then set the targets out in the wilderness.
The build-up is impressive, and the film sets up some worthwhile expectations but traps itself in trying to justify the overall plot. Honestly, there are parts of the narrative that are actually good. The way the opening leads to the crash actually intrigues you as a viewer, hoping the bar goes higher from that point. For the whole first half, Reed’s Point successfully avoids predictability and brings forth some unexpected twists and atmosphere thanks to the creepy background score.
However, throughout the second half, the film falls apart. The well-thought tale loses its grip when it tries to add up several subplots together. It proves confusing to audiences and eventually fails to give any payoff. Firstly, it never acknowledges its own folklore. It instead hops from being a creature feature to a slasher. It adds a sudden, unexplained, and unconvincing secondary story, which ultimately kills the vibe that has led the viewer through the film up until that moment.
“…Sarah is convinced her cousin Kelsey survived the crash and that something ‘not human’ took her…”
Despite having all the right ingredients, the screenplay just isn’t well-constructed. The writers try to give viewers new revelations about the titular area of Reed’s Point. But when they arrive, such a move just downgrades whatever viewers have comprehended up to that moment. Farbigar’s direction also suffers the same fate wherein he forgets to give payoff to the initial setups, jumbling up the entire plot into a weave of unanswered questions.
In addition, the sequences aren’t in proper sync, and the actors fail to represent the creepy and awry backdrop of the haunted woods, remaining mostly emotionless even in the climactic moments. That is when the film completely loses its grip, unsuccessfully leaving the audience with an ambiguous ending. Unfortunately, it is neither logical nor comprehensive. There are so many questions unanswered that instead of being ambiguous, it concludes in incompleteness, further affected heavily by acting.
Reed’s Point starts off as a unique genre offering. The creature is a new one, and the backdrop built around it seems interesting. Given the budget, one can ignore the lack of proper lighting (essential for a film shot mainly in the dark) and the clearly visible errors in the creature’s costume. But, despite trying hard to escape cliches, the film couldn’t find a proper escape from it and eventually jumbles up with too many characters and storylines coming apart by the end. That’s why it feels a bit frustrating because it started well and even gets close to being worthwhile. Unfortunately, it ends in total collapse.
At various moments it feels as if Fabrigar had made crucial efforts to bring out a worthwhile movie, but for an unknown reason, his enthusiasm slowly fades as the film progresses. As a result, Reed’s Point gives you conflicting thoughts. Was it a good movie? Mildly. Could it have been better? Yes, as it does not live up to its initial promise or the intriguing setup from the beginning.
"…starts off as a unique genre offering."