Review: Reaptown (2020)
Reaptown, the new film from writer/director Dutch Marich, takes its name from its main location, the Reaptown Railway Museum in, where else, Reaptown Nevada. It’s there that Carrie Baldwin (Brooke Bradshaw) is serving out her time on work release as a security guard. Reaptown is also where her sister Trisha (Dani Colleen) vanished.
As she does her rounds, she begins to sense a presence. One that might have something to do with her sister’s disappearance. As she tries to find her sister, Lauren (Chrissy Carpenter) is working on a story about a string of disappearances linked to work release assignments in Reaptown.
Like the director’s previous release, Infernum, Reaptown is a low budget film, very low budget. Luckily, the Nevada Northern Railway Museum makes an incredible location, with its rail yard and various buildings. The scenes of Carrie walking through it at night are full of atmosphere, with drone shots used frequently to reinforce how isolated it is. The town is in the middle of nowhere, and the rail yard is an isolated area within the town.
Reaptown actually has a theme of isolation and loneliness and the small cast enhances it. We see very few people, though we hear several others via phone calls and recorded messages. Even though it was filmed last year it feels like one of the COVID lockdown films we’re seeing now. Among the things Lauren uncovers is the fact all the missing women had little in the way of family or friends. All Carrie had was her sister. And. as the poster says “In Reaptown, loneliness is deadly”.
While tense, the final act does have a couple of issues. I can’t believe that given the choice between going back to jail, going on the run, or going back to the Museum knowing what’s there Carrie goes back. And I do wish the script had explained a bit more about the Bloodshifter, it might have helped the ending make a bit more sense.
In the end, Reaptown is a creepy microbudget film. There isn’t much in the way of effects but there is lots of atmosphere and a solid performance by Brooke Bradshaw as Carrie. This is the second film I’ve seen from Marich and the second I’ve liked. I’m curious to see what he does next.
Reaptown is available to stream via Indie Rights. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more details.