Movie Review: Reaper (2014)

Synopsis: While hitchhiking to California because of a sick mother, Natalie is picked up by an alcoholic businessman who checks them into a motel and tries to take advantage of her. She gains the upper hand and escapes with his wallet and car keys. More good fortune befalls her when she is able to steal a bag of money from a mob boss (to help pay for her mom's surgery). However, car troubles result in her returning to the motel, where she needs to deal with mob henchmen, a machete-carrying drug dealer and an escaped cult leader known as the Reaper, who has supernatural powers after surviving the electric chair.

Who's in it? The movie stars Shayla Beesley, Danny Trejo, Jake Busey, Vinnie Jones and James Jurdi.

Review: After what turned out to be a long week, I decided to treat my wife to a slasher film this weekend. It took me a few minutes to find this one, but it turned out to be halfway decent.

I think the thing that I really liked about this film was the fact there were no good guys. Natalie (Beesley) was probably the closest to being one, because she was motivated by getting home to her mother. But, mostly because she was greedy to the point she was crossing some lines, it was hard to tell if she would wind up surviving or would also be one of the Reaper's (Mike Michaels) victims.

I was especially intrigued by Danny Trejo's character, Jack. Compared to everyone else Natalie met in the movie, he was actually a pretty nice guy. He rescued her from the side of the road, paid for a motel room for her and was willing to drive her wherever she needed to go while asking for nothing in return. But, at the same time, he was a bit of a wild card because he was a drug dealer and Natalie inexplicably tries to steal from him too.

The uneasy alliance between him, Natalie and Brad (Jurdi), who she also stole from, did keep the movie from becoming predictable because any one of them could betray the group and make things more difficult. On top of it, Reaper was actually a fairly decent villain, he looked menacing and it seemed as though nothing could harm him. That did create a lot more suspense than I was expecting in what was obviously a low-budget movie.

Final Opinion: There were times when I wanted to wring Natalie's neck for being kind of stupid but, overall, I thought this was an entertaining movie and would recommend taking the time to watch it if you are bored one evening.

My Grade: B


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