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Grim Reapers (2014)

Director: Cade Saint
Starring: Ben Friedman, Charlie Friedman, Henry Friedman, Andrew Wilson Williams, Ryan Patrick Williams, Cade Saint
Not Rated 81 minutes

GRIM REAPERS opens with a man home alone, sensing that he's being stalked by some unseen presence in the woods. He sits, drinks a beer, paces his kitchen, looks out windows, walks around his front porch, all the while acting uneasy. For ten minutes. The next day the man's teenaged son arrives and notices his father is obviously disturbed about something. He tells his son he thinks there's something in the woods and is going to investigate. The son pleads for his him to reconsider, but Dad has a rifle and says he will be back shortly. The son, now as distraught as his father, waits for his return, while pacing around the house and the porch, looking out windows, and walking up and down the hallway. For another ten minutes.

That in a nutshell is the problem with GRIM REAPERS, the micro budgeted debut film from writer, director, editor, and actor Cade Saint. Nothing really happens. Sure, the man's sons and their friends decide to stay at the house, but it's more of the same for the rest of the running time. There's a bit of family drama, some comic relief, and a lot of talking, pacing, waiting, and looking out into the night. We only get glimpses of the titular creature, but never enough to generate much in the way of suspense, or even mild interest. If ever I was ever tempted to lean on the fast forward button, it was while watching this movie. Which is unfortunate, because the young cast is likable despite their obvious inexperience, and Saint does manage to capture some moments of genuine creepy atmosphere. The final scene is surprisingly effective, but sadly comes too late to redeem it.

GRIM REAPERS is lot like another low budget debut film, RETURN IN RED. In both cases, there is the seed of a good movie, but not enough story to allow it to grow. Both would make for excellent short films, and both have directors worth keeping an eye on.  Those who would skewer GRIM REAPERS for its obvious low budget should spend a day watching THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA and THE IRONBOUND VAMPIRE. Then you'll learn what a "bad" movie really is.

2 out of 5.

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