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6:45 (A PopEntertainment.com Movie Review)

6:45 (2020)

6:45

Starring Michael Reed, Augie Duke, Armen Garo, Thomas G. Waites, Remy Ma, The 45 King, Ray Mancini, Joshua Matthew Smith, Sabina Friedman-Seitz, Allie Marshall, Leonardo Mancini and Sasha K. Gordon.

Screenplay by Robert Dean Klein.

Directed by Craig Singer.

Distributed by Storyboard Media. 93 minutes. Rated R.

Sometimes it’s amazing the random things that can lead you to discover a movie. For example, a few weeks ago I was at a theater and saw a trailer for 6:45, which was going to be getting a limited release in a few weeks. Honestly, the storyline looked fine, but probably was not really what caught my attention. Watching the trailer, I was thinking, “That looks like it was filmed in Cape May,” a Jersey shore point that I’ve visited numerous times over the years.

It turns out that it was not filmed in Cape May, but two other Jersey shore points further north – Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. However, that little spark caused me to remember the film and check out a film I would have likely ignored when a review copy became available. And, for the most part I’m glad it did, because I would have never seen 6:45 otherwise, and up until a slightly disappointing ending, it was a terrific indie horror film.

It rides on the now suddenly rather ubiquitous Groundhog Day formula, where someone has to relive the same day over and over again until they get it right and escape the time loop. When Groundhog Day did it, it was unique, but now it’s become a very common storyline. It has been used in everything from romantic comedies, mysteries, YA dramas, and of course, horror films.

Just in the last few years, films like Palm Springs, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, Edge of Tomorrow, Before I Fall, Happy Death Day 2 U and several more. As stated above, 6:45 isn’t even the first film to use the format in a horror genre piece, the last two on that list were also about people trying to survive being murdered over and over again.

So, 6:45 is not the most original film out there. Nonetheless, it is a surprisingly effective thriller until the wheels sort of come off in the end.

A young couple Bobby and Jules (Michael Reed and Augie Duke, who by coincidence are a couple in real life as well) go to a shore resort as a way to try to heal a rift which has been growing in their relationship. They figure a romantic getaway might be just what the doctor ordered.

However, from the moment they arrive in town, things seem a little bit off. The resort is surprisingly empty, as are the stores and most other businesses, although there are a few people in the local bar.

The hotel manager Gene (Armen Garo), who is a bit odd and also appears to be a bit of a voyeur, eventually tells them that it is the anniversary of a brutal unsolved murder which had happened a few years before. A couple was walking along, minding their own business, when suddenly the woman’s throat was slashed, and the man’s neck broken by an unknown assailant.

As the day goes on, it turns out that Bobby and Jules are the killer’s next victims. However, every time the killer slits Jules’ throat and breaks Bobby’s neck, he awakes in the hotel room at 6:45 that morning and has to relive the whole thing over, trying to figure out new ways to negotiate the day to save himself and his fiancée.

Like I said, it’s a pretty standard storyline, but it is one that is rife with possibilities, most of which 6:45 takes advantage of. It’s well acted by a mostly unknown cast. (The only cast members I was previously familiar with both had small supporting roles in the movie – former boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and actress Sasha K. Gordon, who I remembered from a very different type of role as the lead character in the indie film Natasha.) 6:45 is solidly filmed and a surprisingly smart thriller. Personally, I didn’t really like the ending, but many people will.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to give movies you may not have noticed otherwise a chance. With 6:45, that gamble mostly paid off.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2021 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: August 6, 2021.

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