Reaper (2000) – Film


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Crime drama/horror writer, Luke Sinclair takes a trip to a small town to work on his latest book.  However, after he arrives, he becomes a person of interest when a dead girl is found in the woods with a page of his most recent book, The Reaper, next to her.  The murder just as the page describes.   The local sheriff and a detective who specializes in sex crimes, confer with Sinclair, they must find out who killed the girl and stop him before he kills again.

This indie mystery/thriller out of Canada is an entertaining, if not very solid film.  Chris Sarandon does as amazing a job as Luke Sinclair as the script allows.  Vlasta Vrana is effective as the not-able-to-play-well-with-others, Sheriff Norris.  Catherine Mary Stewart, as Detective Sonya Lehrman, brings a strong female presence, especially since the film features such misogynistic male characters.

The writing is rather weak, full of plot holes, minimally developed (both story and characters), and mostly stereotypical characters.  Good pacing and a talented cast keeps this film from disaster.  Chris Sarandon’s portrayal of Luke Sinclair is pretty much the only thing that kept me in the film.  His almost casual intensity and ability to sound respectful, contemptuous, and sarcastic all at the same time is always worth seeing.  Sadly, there really isn’t much for believable sexual chemistry between Sarandon and Stewart.  They are great playing off each other before that unfortunate plot twist.  Blah.

Although this is in the horror section, it is far more mystery/thriller than horror.  It has a very tenuous grasp which links it to horror.  So tenuous, in fact, that it would be too big a spoiler to mention.  The plot twists just keeps twisting.

I gave this 2 1/2 glasses of wine.  Even with the unfortunately weak story, the movie managed to keep me fully engaged throughout.  I didn’t even swear at the screen for not being horror.  I call that and effective film.

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