If you’re a fan of indie horror and looking for something new, it’s worth your time to check out Reaptown. Released on Prime Video on September 28, the film is directed by Dutch Marich, and features actress Brooke Bradshaw as lead character, Carrie Baldwin.
Reaptown follows Carrie after her recent release from prison. As part of her parole, she is assigned work at a desolate local railway museum. As she begins her work release, she is also in the midst of searching for her sister, Trisha, who went missing while working at the same location. The film begins with a sense of desolation and dangerous atmosphere. We’re given sweeping aerial views of Reaptown, Nevada, a gray and isolated town. Even in the daytime, the location oozes despair, and the ominous score adds to the mood throughout the film. Much of the flick takes place at night, and this adds to the tension. By the time Carrie begins her first shift at the museum, the viewer knows they’re in for an unsettling ride.
I would describe this as slow burn horror, as the tension is palpable, but just beneath the surface. It has a slow ramp-up, but the intensity builds toward the end. If you’re looking for flick that’s in-your-face from the get go, you won’t find that here. But you will discover a story that has some heart among the haunts.
The film takes us back and forth between day and night, and also provides some flashbacks to give insight into the characters’ past. We’re not given all the answers related to the crimes that Carrie and Trisha committed, but we’re given the idea that they did so under duress or desperation. During the day, Carrie devotes her time to finding her sister, while at night, the focus is on her fear—not only of what happened to Trisha, but also of the unknown at the railway museum.
The lead up to the reveal of the supernatural villain is well-done. As Carrie explores the environment during her nightly watch—mostly with a flashlight—the viewer is likely to feel present and as though they are experiencing the suspense alongside her. We’re given brief glimpses of the villain. This happens not only in a physical sense, but also through media snippets including news articles and audio recordings. Once these pieces are revealed, we learn of a local legend involving a blood shifter and related disappearances over the years. This discovery amps up the creep factor and overall sense of fear throughout the remainder of the picture.
Overall, this flicked checked many of the boxes for a solid story—characters to care about; a strong sense of atmosphere; and a deeper meaning running within. On the surface, Reaptown is the story of a woman gone missing and her sister’s search to find her. But there’s also a deeper message coming across here—one related to limited options for former inmates. It’s a glimpse into how our society treats those seen as outcasts. The picture speaks to how we often judge an entire group without knowing their stories. Many of those released from the correctional system slip through the cracks without a real shot at redemption or a better life once they’re on the outside again.
The film carries a general sense of isolation and loneliness that all viewers can relate to on some level. My only struggle was with the ending, as it’s ambiguous, and we’re not given all the answers. However, I don’t feel like every bit of information is necessary for the picture to have an impact. If you’re looking for an atmospheric piece with a deeper story, and don’t mind some unanswered questions, check this one out.
WICKED RATING: 7/10