Runtime: 83 mins Directed by: Sylas Dall Starring: Mary Madaline Roe, Eden Campbell, Morgan Chandler Grimmfest Feature by: Darren Tilby
Synopsis: In 1979, a young girl stumbles upon a possessed tape player. She unknowingly unleashes a demonic entity that haunts her family while slowly dragging the small town of Clarkston to Hell. Grimmfest say: A beautifully realised, pitch-perfect homage to the kinds of teen horror films we all grew up with, this forgoes the tone of post-modern nudge-wink knowingness common to so much retro-styled 80s cine-fetishism in favour of something more purely affectionate. Nostalgic but never sentimental, the film absolutely nails the era it wishes to evoke and will bring back happy memories for even the most hard-hearted among you. The three young leads are all terrific, and the interplay between them sharp and funny, with any undue archness, offset by the easy naturalism of their performances, and while there are plenty of in-jokes for the film buff (a pair of idiot cops called Jason and Kevin is a nice touch), these are never allowed to dominate or detract from the action. Period production design is unobtrusively effective (a lot of it is down to the film's colour palette – it simply LOOKS like something shot in the period when it is set), the music cues are bang-on, and the filmmakers are not at all afraid to kill off likeable and sympathetic characters in quite shocking fashion. And the final, mischievous twist is delightful in its simple, no-nonsense logic. It seems strange to be saying this about a horror film, but prepare to be... charmed. What I'm Expecting: I'd expect plenty of 80s nostalgia from They Reach. Probably less of the splattery, pulpy stuff and more on the Stephen King, coming-of-age horror side of things. I'd like to see plenty of dark humour (Lost Boys-style) and a powerful sense of adventure and wonder, as we saw in films such as The Goonies and Stand by Me. But most important, is the central casting: the three young actors/actresses are by far the most crucial individual aspect of this film, and their performances will be fundamental to its success.