THEY REACH is an adventure/horror film set in 1979. 13-year-old science nerd Jessica Daniels accidentally unleashes a demon from a vintage reel-to-reel player; she recruits her two best friends to fight the beast before it devours more souls in the small town of Clarkston.
It’s pretty common for there to be a lack of common interest between children and their parents, especially as our world has progressed. However, when your parents and society adversely convey that you don’t fit inside the realms of social normalcy because you don’t adhere to gender stereotypes, it can be demoralizing for anyone, especially a budding teenager. Nevertheless, you somewhat expect to be an outcast at school, but to be one at home can have a lasting negative effect. Fortunately, the human spirit can endure the worst of any situation with the help of a few encouraging friends. They Reach is a perfect example of this. The adventure horror film has a great message and is full of heart. If you’re not a huge fan of horror or are unsure of the genre, this film is a perfect beginner’s movie. If I had to compare it to anything, it would be Stranger Things. With its focus on young teens facing off against a dark entity, it’s an easy comparison. To me, the difference lies not only in the details but the tone and messaging. They Reach has more of a coming of age feel to it and the demonic presence is simply a burden that the teens have to deal with. Nevertheless, the film finds a cozy spot in the genre. Encompassing classic horror tropes as well as paying homage to the past, the film has plenty to be entertained by. Driven by its characters, you become more invested in what happens with them rather than what’s happening to them. There are decent special effects, just enough jump scares and blood, and a few laughs that make it a film many will enjoy. While there is some slightly egregious acting, it weirdly adds a sort of charm to the spooky flick. Overall, They Reach is a fun, quirky, and spooky time. Its rewatchability is medium.
Plot & Pace
After the funeral of her brother, Jessica decides to venture into an antique store that sells rarities and relics. She then stumbles upon a crate full of random things that intrigue her and might interest her father as well. Being into science and tinkering with electronics, Jessica is eager to connect with her father who thinks that they have nothing in common. Once she shows her dad the findings of the crate, they focus on a reel-to-reel player. While trying to get the recorder to work, Jessica accidentally slices her hand open and bleeds on the electronic devices. What they don’t know is that the device has a demonic past and the blood has released a murderous demon. She must now recruit the help of her friends and others in order to save herself and her family from a soul-stealing demon.
The movie’s pace is pretty decent. Things begin to happen pretty quickly as it awkwardly jumps into its main plot.
Characters & Chemistry
The teens vastly outdid the adults in this film. Cheddar (Eden Campbell), the outgoing best friend is easily my favorite character. She is the epitome of being your authentic self and not caring what others think. She has great chemistry with the star, Jessica (Mary Madeline Roe). With Jessica’s love of science being an issue, Cheddar provides support and reinforces her confidence. Jessica is stronger and braver than she thinks. Sam (Morgan Chandler) is Jessica’s other best friend but he also has another reason why he is so close to her. The three are a great support system for each other.
They Reach is now available on DVD and VOD. Enjoy and stay safe.
Director: Sylas Dall
Writers: Sylas Dall, Bry Troyer
Runtime: 1h 28m
Rating: 3 out of 5