Sunday 5 October 2014

Horror Film Review: Reaper (2014)

Reaper (2014)

Moments before his scheduled execution, a convicted death cult congregation leader escapes to continue his murderous rampage. Known only as Reaper, the killer is on a vigilante mission to bring justice and vengeance upon the unholy. Sinners be warned!

Meanwhile a young woman leaves a message for her mother assuring her she is in safe hands before proceeding to hitchhike across the USA. What could possibly go wrong?

Released just in time for Halloween, Reaper is the latest slasher horror from director Philip Shih and writers Mark James and James Jurdi. Taking place mostly at the isolated Last Chance Hotel, the film follows the Reaper’s harrowing exploits as he cuts down some very savoury characters only to meet his match in young Natalie (Shayla Beesley). Reaper stars Danny Trejo, Vinnie Jones and Jake Busey as well as Justin Henry (the kid from Kramer vs. Kramer) as the truly creepy Last Chance desk clerk Caine.

James Jurdi and Shayla Beesley in Reaper

So is it any good? Well, not really, in fact it is pretty bad and not in a so-bad-it’s-good sort of way. It’s not scary, the acting is terrible and the cinematography has the feel of a really bad quality soft porn show that you sometimes catch by accident when flipping channels at 2am. Not that we can expect much more from the slasher genre, but the premise sounded really interesting and if the directors had focused more on the Reaper’s truly sick purpose and less on Natalie’s cleavage, it could have been a better film.

Would I recommend Reaper? It would be okay for a Friday night in and would make for a great drinking game – you could drink every time they show a gratuitous part of Natalie’s anatomy or every time a reasonable actor like Danny Trejo gets to say something truly hackneyed – but no, I wouldn’t recommend it. There are much better films coming out on DVD this month in any case, including the disturbing Open Grave which I’ll review next week.

Vinnie Jones in Reaper

I give Reaper a disappointing two out of five stars. The premise wasn't bad and it could have been a decent film with a bit more focus on the actual killer himself.

2 Stars

Released by Signature Entertainment, Reaper will be out on DVD and Blu-ray on 6 October 2014. It is available for purchase from


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