Reed’s Point (2021)

March 2022 Update: Uncork’d Entertainment has announced Reed’s Point will be released to DVD and Digital platforms on April 12, 2022. You can follow the project’s ongoing developments on its Facebook and Instagram pages. In fact, you can now watch Reed’s Point as a free-with-ads stream on Tubi.

Advanced Release News:

You’ve enjoyed the work of director Dale Fabrigar and producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis (got her start as an actress in the ’80s slasher Evil Judgment; produced Academy Award-winning writer Bobby Morceso’s 2006 mob flick, 10th and Wolf) with the Lance Henriksen-starring D-Railed (2018). The duo returns — with 310-credits strong acting warhorse Joe Estevez (Hell Asylum) — in a tale about New Jersey’s mythical Pine Barrens, a legend that’s fed the narratives of horror films dating back to one of the first found footage mockumentaries, The Last Broadcast (1998).

In a tale co-penned by DeLaurentiis, a vehicle crash in the Pine Barrens leads to a missing teen and stirs the once forgotten conspiracy theories regarding the infamous Jersey Devil legend. On the anniversary of the crash, Sarah Franklin (Sasha Anne), convinced her cousin Kelsey is still alive somewhere in the Jersey woods, returns to the crash site with Alex, Kelsey’s boyfriend (Evan Adams). They soon come to discover what’s lurking in the barrens. . . .

In addition to Joe Estevez, the film co-stars — in her first feature film role — lymphoma survivor and social media influencer, Sasha Anne (Instagram, TikTok, You Tube). The film also stars Anthony Jensen, whose work we recently reviewed in Jared Cohn’s fun shark fest, Swim (2021). Since we’re huge fans of director David DeCoteau — to the point we watch his Lifetime movie offerings (A Christmas Cruise and A Husband for Christmas) — we recognized Evan Adams, here, who made his acting debut in DeCoteau’s most recent holiday offering, The Wrong Valentine.

Currently well-received on the festival circuit, Reed’s Point will become available to streaming platforms in early 2022. Our thanks to Sasha Anne for the opportunity to allow B&S About Movies to be the first to review the film prior to its distribution. And don’t forget to check out Anthony Jensen in Swim and Evan Adams in The Wrong Valentine!

We wish actress Sasha Anne and producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis all the best of success in their joint efforts. Do stream Reed’s Point — and look for the Wild Eye Entertainment DVDs at your favorite retailers where hard media is sold.

Our Post-Release Review

So, to expand upon what we learned about the film in the pre-release press kit: After we watch an effective opening titles sequence — complete with news report voiceovers regarding a series of missing person cases in the Pines Barrens — we meet three high school friends on their last day of school and first day of summer vacation. Yes, it’s time to cut loose before heading off to college. So Uncle Greg decides to take his daughter, Kelsey (Madison Ekstrand), niece Sarah (Sasha Anne), and Kelsey’s boyfriend Alex (Evan Adams), on vacation.

Yep, cue the errant deer in the headlights. In the middle of the Barrens. And let lose The Jersey Devil. And reveal the within-a-dream flashback: one where Sarah is tortured by her witnessing the death of her uncle (in a decent, in-camera effect: he’s clubbed with his own torn-off arm) and Sarah being dragged off into the woods by a Bigfootesque creature. Sarah knows what she saw. She’s convinced Kelsey is still alive. The cops stopped searching or caring. She knows people thinks she’s crazy. . . .

A year later: Sarah and Alex are journalism students working on a story about the legend (there’s a long-standing feud between two backwoods families in the area, natch) for the school newspaper. Their editor, reluctantly, lets the duo run with the story, under one condition: do not go into the woods for research.

Yep. They go into the woods. And there is no Jersey Devil. Nope. There is a plot twist. There is a Jersey Devil.

Look, we won’t sugar coat: IMDb’ers and digital film critics haven’t been kind to this film. As usual: streamers are placing A-List filmmaking comparisons against a low-budget horror film released on the Uncork’d Entertainment direct-to-stream-DVD shingle. So why is everyone expecting an A24 or Blumhouse “shock scares” summer tent pole — or a retro-Paramount Friday the 13th knock off — for that matter. The streaming machine (Hey, Tubi) needs product — and Reed’s Point is a solid product where your streaming coin isn’t wasted.

As I watched, I found all the disciplines, well, on-point. The cinematography is crisp and well-framed, the acting — which everyone seems to take issue with — is what you’d expect of the Lifetime “damsel in distress” variety. Reviews I’ve read take issue with Sarah’s personal appearance: she’s not attractive, therefore, she can’t act? Balderdash! Shelley Duvall doesn’t trip my trigger (that’s my hang up), but there’s no doubt Ms. Duvall is stellar in Stephen King’s The Shining. And I was already a fan of Evan Adams’s effective work in The Wrong Valentine. If anyone is a weak link in the thespin’ department, here, it’s Joe Estevez with his crazed, warning-the-meddling-kids-Scooby Doo shtick. But he is supposed to be the crazy and irrational local, so. . . .

When Reed’s Point was officially released to streaming platforms five months later after our advance review, we gave this debut project from actress-producer Sarah Anne another look/new take on April 15, 2022 — in addition to my own take, now added to this review. As is the case with films — and you know how funny they can be — I enjoyed this low-budget take, more so than my contemporary, as an advanced screener.

The original festival trailer, courtesy of Sasha Anne.

The new theatrical trailer issued by Uncork’d Entertainment and OC Trailers.

To learn more, you can visit Uncork’d Entertainment on their website or Facebook page.

You can also learn more about Suzanne’s production career with our June 2021 interview regarding her Amazon Prime horror series, Saturday Night Scares.

About the Author: You can read the music and film reviews of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook. He also writes for B&S Movies.

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