Reed’s Point reunites several of the people behind 2018’s D-Railed, including director Dale Fabrigar (They Crawl Beneath), and co-writer Suzanne DeLaurentiis (Area 401) who wrote the script along with Sandy Lo and Tricia Aurand (Middleton Christmas). I found it to be a fun mashup of monsters, ghosts, and a heist gone wrong. So a film from them about The Jersey Devil seemed like it had a chance to be the first film about the creature to actually be good.
It starts with Kelsey (Madison Ekstrand) her boyfriend Alex (Evan Adams, The Wrong Valentine) and cousin Sarah (Sasha Anne) joining Kelsey’s father Greg (Clint Carmichael, Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists, The Open Door) on a business RV trip. However, on the way to pick up the client, the driver swerves to avoid a deer and crashes. Sarah regains consciousness just in time to see something drag Kelsey away, and something else rips the driver’s arm off.
Not even ten minutes in and Reed’s Point has delivered a creepy-looking man in a suit monster and bloody dismemberment. It’s a great way to start. Unfortunately, when it picks up a year later with Sarah and Alex working on an article about The Jersey Devil and Kelsey’s disappearance, the pace is a lot slower. Sarah is convinced of what she saw, Alex says the concussion she got made her misidentify an animal. Or maybe one of the Reed family with whom Kelsey’s family allegedly has a feud dating back generations.
At this point I feel I should mention Reed’s Point was originally titled, Reed’s Point: Bad Blood Never Dies. In fact, that was the title on the print I saw. And if that’s making you think the feud angle is going to be a lot more important than the poster wants you to believe, you’re right. Now a couple of college students walking into the middle of some backwoods mayhem isn’t a bad idea, and it’s been the plot of more than one good hicksploitation film. But that’s not what Reed’s Point is being sold as.
Alex and Sarah go to the town of Reed’s Point and after running into Steve (Joe Estevez, The Roller Blade Seven, The Zero Boys), a crazy old man ranting about The Jersey Devil, head into the woods with a guide named Hank (Anthony Jensen, Swim, Monster Hunters). Needless to say, they end up wandering alone in the dark woods. As does their editor Max (Julia Kelly, The Mark: Redemption, The Last Summer) who drives down to look for them in an obvious move to boost the film’s body count.
The main problem with Reed’s Point is it doesn’t know just what kind of movie it wants to be and the various elements never really gel. There are lots of stumbling around in the dark and plenty of human on human nastiness. And something big and hairy with a nasty temper out there as well.
Or is there? The film tries to create confusion as to whether the creature is real or, as in Hoax or Shriek of the Mutilated, someone in a suit killing for their own reasons. Unfortunately, the answer is fairly obvious, rendering that subplot rather silly. Not as silly as the person who says “You don’t have the balls to pull the trigger” to somebody minutes after they shot someone else who said something similar, but it’s close.
It’s too bad because Reed’s Point has some good moments, a well-designed creature, and some well-done gore, although one kill is ruined by obvious CGI blood spray. If the script had tied things together a bit tighter the film could have been better. But there were just too many moments, including the final scene, that made little to no sense.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release Reed’s Point on DVD and VOD on April 12th. You can check their website or Facebook page for more information. And, as always, FilmTagger has some ideas if this wasn’t quite what you were looking for.