Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Set in 1979, They Reach is about a 13-year-old girl named Jessica (Mary Madaline Roe) who discovers an old reel-to-reel tape player. As a nerdy sci-fi fan, she uses the tape player as part of her science fair project. Unfortunately, the tape player is possessed and Jessica unwittingly unleashes a demonic entity that not only puts Jessica and her friends in danger but also her family and the entire town too.
Written and directed by Sylas Dall, who also wrote and directed the short films The Blue Line and Hit Squad, They Reach is his first feature-length movie and based on the trailer, it’s looking very good indeed.
Initially, when I read the premise, I thought that there were obvious similarities with The Evil Dead, after all, Ash and his friends unwittingly awoke a demon after listening to a reel-to-reel tape player. Cleverly though, as They Reach is set in 1979 and The Evil Dead wasn’t released until 1981, then there’s no way that Jessica would have seen the movie and therefore wouldn’t have known about the inherent dangers of listening to dusty old tapes.
So let that be a lesson to you folks, if you find an old reel-to-reel tape player, don’t listen to it without a priest on standby, and maybe a boomstick too, just for good measure…perhaps a chainsaw as back-up, it pays to be prepared.
Another thought I had when I first read the premise of the movie and saw that the lead character is only 13, it sounded like it was probably being aimed at the family end of the horror market and would be the sort of thing that would hit the UK with a 12 rating, which is roughly the same as a PG13 in the states. Although the odd PG13 flick does end up being released as a 15 in the UK.
Now that I’ve seen the trailer, it would look as though this is definitely going to be at the 15 end of the ratings, possibly even an 18 due to lashings of blood, demonic creature and the brief glimpse of limb chopping.
Either way, the movie is looking really good, not just in the horror visuals but in the look of the thing as a whole and even though I’ve not seen any of Sylas Dall’s previous work, this is still something that I’m looking forward to.
The film also stars Morgan Chandler (in his first acting role), Eden Campbell (The Mortuary Collection), Kyan Zielinski (The Dangerous Book for Boys), Elizabeth Rhoades (Capitol Murder) and Ash Calder, also in his first feature acting role.
Wait. Someone whose surname is Campbell? Someone called Ash? I’m getting those Evil Dead vibes again.
Due out in 2020, there’s no release date or distributor just yet, but with luck, it won’t be too long until we hear more about this great looking movie.
Until then, here’s a link to the trailer so you can see what you think. Hopefully, you’ll be as excited to see They Reach as we are.
You can also keep up to date on the They Reach official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/horrorfilmtheyreach/