I love the spirit of indie films. No matter how good or bad an indie film is, the spark of ambition is usually always evident within (I say ‘usually’ because some of the films I’ve seen in the past were train wrecks with no soul or flare). Indie director Cade Saint recently touched base with me to see if I would review his newly released horror flick, GRIM REAPERS. And while the film is not perfect, it definitely showcases the up-and-coming talent of a horror name in the making.
If you are not familiar with GRIM REAPERS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Dark Room Productions:
A teenager and his friends become terrorized by dark hooded figures after his father goes missing at a remote house in the woods. See what happens when death comes for a surprise visit in this creepy terrifying thriller.
I have to preface this review by saying ‘Thanks!’ to Saint for reaching out to me…I love to help promote work with promise, and his talents seem to be well on their way to development.
GRIM REAPERS is shot very well for the most part, and the camera work shows a lot of intuitive aspects. However, there are a few scenes that are way too shaky; I’m speaking particularly of the scene where Jay is running through the house, trying to find his friends. I could not tell what was going on. The lighting in the film is pretty good, too, overall. Many lower budget films sacrifice lighting and sound, but that’s not the case here. The film is well lit, and the audio sounds nice as well.
The acting in GRIM REAPERS is pretty good. I was expecting cardboard-acting from relatives or friends; instead, I got decent performances and a wide range of character emotions. I have to single out Henry Friedman, who portrays younger brother Kyle. Friedman does a magnificent job with his role, and I hope to see more of him in the future.
The storyline is where I have problems with the film. It is incoherent and does not have much in terms of substance. There is plenty of build-up and tension created…but then nothing happens. A shadowy figure here, or a creepy sound there…only to have the characters walk off. I also did not fully understand what was going on, in terms of the ‘reapers’. Were they trick-or-treaters from Hell? Were they kids who took a prank too far? There’s no big reveal and no conclusion. I would have preferred a massive, boring info-dump of an explanation, instead of no explanation at all.
Still, GRIM REAPERS is not a total loss, and it shows the talent Saint possesses. I have seen way worse, from films and directors that do not have any hope of a future in the industry; this film just appears to be a stepping stone for Saint. I look forward to what he does in the future. GRIM REAPERS is available now on VOD (click here to order it, if you want to check it out).