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The Hollywood Insider 6:45 Review

Photo: ‘6:45′

‘6:45’ brings a new definition to insanity and loop horror stories with its masterful direction by Craig Singer. In this loop film, the characters end up driving themselves to insanity in pursuit of a solution that only they possess with their varying, swirling deja vu powers. Using repetition in movies means directors find themselves using loop stories to add an element of comedy and hysterical exasperation, but ‘6:45’ did the opposite by utilizing it as a tool to create this traumatic and haunting storyline. 

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Bobby played by Michael Reed and Jules who is played by Augie Duke are a young couple vacationing in a seaside town, content on just exploring and resting in an effort to overcome their difficult past. But with mysterious hooded murderers making appearances on their first day there, they have to work together to escape this purgatory that starts every morning at, you guessed it, 6:45. 

The film is chock-full of familiar movie tropes but they seem to work alongside the script and directing to avoid being boring and mundane. Bobby Reed, the main character, keeps waking up in the same hotel in a sad seaside town, trying desperately to get the day right in order to save his life and his wife’s. But rather than needing a desperate solution for metaphysical purposes, he is being psychologically destroyed each time he dies at the end of the day and that remains his main motivation to stop the loop. 

Horrific Twist on a Vacation Gone Wrong

This off-kilter and painful-to-watch arc is accompanied by nonlinear camera angles and intentional depths of vision that require you to strain your eye and really look to find something on the screen. The director of photography, Lucas Pitassi adds a sense of unease, like something is lurking in the shadows of this Bog Side town that’s getting ready to pounce. It’s like a layer of mist, of fear and chill creeping over what is supposed to be the ideal romance between Bobby and his fiance Jules on their vacation. 

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The skill and timing with which their story is cracked in half is what adds to the quality of the unconventional horror film. Rather than over-haunt and overplay the typical characteristics of a scary film, the directors and writers create jagged edges that poke and poke without you noticing until they ultimately slash through the meat of the story. This is especially accomplished with the manner of the Groundhog Day type plot, each day revealing another painful layer that cracks at the relationships, progress in the story, and the hope that is slowly fading away. 

Singer Creates Multitude of Layered Problems for Bobby and the ‘6:45’ Crew

The credit lies with the director, Craig Singer, for being able to keep a loop story from being monotonous and overbearing on the audiences. It’s easy to use that plot device as a scapegoat for an actually interesting and engaging story, but he manages to use it without letting it overshine Bobby’s journey. Singer’s ability to keep the mood, dark and meditative without drawing out the movie for endless hours is a skill a lot of directors are not able to accomplish. Although it was not the most complex of stories, it was a fun problem-solving exercise for audiences who tried to guess how Bobby’s dirty past, Jules’s involvement, and the repetition of the day would unfold. 

With the writer, Robert Klein, carefully working alongside Singer they manage to create an entirely unique and exciting ending where ultimately the audience decides whether the ambiguity of the story is what adds to the difficulty of finding a solution or whether they should blame the characters and their internal struggles for the constant obstacles they face.

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The characters are able to carry much of the film thanks to the chemistry between the two leads, Bobby and Jules. The ease with which they banter and interact with the other eccentric characters at the town is what allows a path for the story to take shape. It’s clear that sex was used an as exploitation element to work alongside the gore of this horror fiction film, but it was a pleasant surprise to see both male and female nudity and sexuality being explored. Its intention is not simply to create erotica but to have the sexual themes help advance the story and juxtapose against the horror. Singer was able to fight against the stereotype by possessing an awareness and gentleness with such topics that contemporary horror films often lack in their projects. 

‘6:45’ Perfectly Mixes Real Life and Horror 

Perhaps a chunk of the success is due to the fact that ordinary problems are cemented into the film as well, with dysfunctional core relationships taking center stage. The strange details and less than amicable secrets that are revealed add to the horror by creating a realistic and uncomfortable problem for audiences to sort through as they watch. 

However, Bobby’s self-awareness and introspection throughout the film are what give ‘6:45’ the edge it needs. His battle from fear to acceptance and all the shades of emotions in between makes him an easier character to understand and empathize with. It even makes the horrific ending a little more digestible, despite not only the high levels of violence but because of the psychologically destructive reveal. 

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That is perhaps the movie’s greatest weapon – its ability to create a horror film that explores external enemies, as well as the terrible ones that live inside us too, for those, are the most authentic. Bobby and Jules may have started off as the victims but somewhere along the lines, they morphed into characters and puzzle pieces that fit into the murderous events in Bog Side.  Deliberately uncomfortable, and far from the sunshine romance you’d expect, ‘6:45’ is a perfect summertime horror film for someone looking for a bit of gloom and doom.

You can watch it in theaters now! 

By Mireille Karadanaian

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