‘First you hear them. Then you see them. Then they reach…’
They Reach is a 2019 American supernatural horror feature film about a teenage girl finding a possessed tape player.
Directed by Sylas Dall from a screenplay co-written with Bry Troyer, the Single Schred Films production stars Mary Madaline Roe, Morgan Chandler, Eden Campbell and Kyan Zielinski.
It’s 1979 and thirteen-year-old Jessica accidentally unleashes a demon from a vintage reel-to-reel tape player. So, she recruits her two best friends to fight the beast before it devours more souls in the small town of Clarkston.
“The problem is that I’m not really the target audience for this kind of thing, where the thrill is less about the story – it’s pretty paper-thin – than identifying with the socially outcast friends. Although as a teen movie the F-bombs are let off with surprising frequency and the gore is occasionally a little on the heavy side.” Bloody Flicks
“The flick makes the most of its limited resources, with excellent practical special effects, and takes its central threat seriously despite the overall light tone. Not all of it works: the pacing is a little off and it overdoes the “quirk” with unnecessarily goofy, overplayed cops and an intrusive librarian. It is, however, so eager to please – and the wrap-up so genuinely sweet – that it seems rude to complain.” HorrorScreams VideoVault
“About 75% of the way through, the movie takes a slight turn into slightly over-the-top bloody silliness. I was hoping this would continue as it made things quite entertaining (though for only about 5 minutes), but it shifts the mood drastically back into the demonic-possession old town secret business it hadn’t been doing well with for the previous hour. Original characters are reintroduced, demons are being demon-y, and this ends much like it started: unremarkable.” Killer Horror Critic
“Obviously attempting to ride the IT and Stranger Things wave, this lacks the charm and heart of those projects. The ‘scares’, though more gross than frightening, are not bad, however, with one ‘chopping board’ scene sticking with me for some time afterwards […] It manages to avoid the obvious cliches but perhaps in doing so it misses era indicators altogether. It really could be set in any decade.” The Movie Waffler
“The gore is a little too strong perhaps for the more kid-friendly tale of friendship that is at the core of the film. However, without the gore – which is really used to show how horrible, wicked and powerful the evil haunting Clarkston and Jessica is – the impact of what happens to Jessica, her family and her friends might be lost somewhat.” Nerdly
“They Reach is an indie horror (?) movie that is shot extremely weirdly. The actors, additionally, do a terrible job and it always feels like they are being forced to work. It’s half-hearted and, honestly, not scary. There are better ways to spend your quarantine. Even if you ever come across this title, give it a skip.” TechQuila
“The ending will bother some viewers and I can see why. I can also see why they went in the direction they did. Your reaction will come down to a matter of preference. In the end, They Reach is actually a fun film, with plenty of jumps, some gore and no deeper meanings or messages.” Voices from the Balcony
High Octane Pictures will release They Reach later in the year. Meanwhile, they have released a new trailer (see below).
Cast and characters:
Mary Madaline Roe … Jessica Daniels
Morgan Chandler … Sam
Eden Campbell … Cheddar
Kyan Zielinski … Wesley
Elizabeth Rhoades … Grace Daniels
Ash Calder … John Daniels
Frederick Floyd … Sheriff Charlie Wells
Taylor Bartle … Alex Quinnley
Damian Vines … Doctor Mark Quinnley
Adrienne Jordan … Phillis Burkhart
Steffanie Foster Gustafson … Marybeth
Eric Schmidt … Bart
Kara Puerschner … Amber
Tyler Timm … Coach Pirkle
Tony Gee … Kevin
Enumclaw, Federal Way, Olympia, Spanaway, Tacoma and Yelm, Washington