Boy, I hate it when my tranquil weekend of boating with friends turns into a blood-soaked nightmare. After thousands of movies in which a back-to-nature retreat results in death and dismemberment, you’d think people would just stay the eff home. Watch Nature Channel, or some shit. But noo-oo-oo!

Three unexceptional couples hit upon the brilliant idea of renting a boat for a river excursion through a remote British waterway that’s choked with (cue the title) reeds! So what form of doom will they encounter on their nautical getaway? Ruthless delinquents as in Eden Lake? An insidious beastie from the depths? Piranhas? Killer kelp? Nope, the crew gets mired in a tragic feedback loop between an angry loner and a bunch of scruffy mute kids, who are seemingly locked in an eternal spiral of antagonism—despite the fact that the rugrats have been dead for decades. Talk about holding a grudge…

The claustrophobic spell cast by the forlorn, colorless landscape gives The Reeds a crucial boost of atmosphere, and the silent band of urchins are a creepy lot. And while director Nick Cohen is possessed of sufficient skills to keep things relatively interesting, it’s a glacially-paced affair without much in the way of action—though the anchor impalement scene was a welcome highlight. The Reeds is worth a viewing, but only if it’s a slow news day and all your chores are done.

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