Wednesday, 10 August 2016
The Reeds - film review
I decided to watch The Reeds, a relatively little-known horror film made in 2009, some time after undertaking a hugely enjoyable boat trip on the Norfolk Broads this spring. When I learned that a Broads boating trip was the setting for the movie, I thought it would be interesting to see how it captured the setting that entranced me. And the short answer is that the film does convey the mysterious atmosphere of the Broads, and the eponymous reeds which line the labyrinthine waterways, very well indeed.
That said, I can imagine that the tourist authorities in Norfolk will not have been keen to publicise this film, as it deals with some really rather horrid mishaps endured by half a dozen young people when they hire a boat from a grumpy old bloke called (perhaps with heavy symbolism) Mr Croker.
The six protagonists are not characterised in any depth, although one young woman has clearly had a troubled upbringing, and one of the blokes is rather too keen on looking for trouble to have much chance of survival in a story like this. The group come across a rather menacing group of youngsters, and there are some similarities in the early stages to films such as In Fear and Eden Lake.
But as the boating party gets lost in the reeds, and Very Bad Things happen with increasing frequency, it becomes evident that something else is going on. There are supernatural elements to the story, and an oddly convoluted plot, which seemed to me to lack coherence Overall, I didn't rate the screenplay highly, but the atmospheric photography of the Broads was good enough to make me glad I watched the film. But don't let The Reeds put you off taking a trip on the Broads - on a lovely day, it's a truly magical way to travel around a gorgeous part of the world.