Despite it's two decent lead performances and the engaging dialogue, what we get is a horror movie without a great deal of horror, feeling lacklustre when it all comes to an end.
WRITTEN BY BECCA JOHNSON / NOVEMBER 16, 2022
In 1980's Chicago, tension rises when a stripper and a religious protestor are trapped together in a peep show booth whilst an apocalypse is occurring. The pair must push aside their differences in order to help each other escape and fight whatever evil is waiting for them. Vibrant, full of neon lights and a synth pop score, Revealer is a feast for the ears and eyes. However, despite it's two decent lead performances and the engaging dialogue between the two, what we get is a horror movie without a great deal of horror, feeling lacklustre when it comes to an end.
Revealer is a small scale movie that features two actresses, Caito Aase and Shaina Schrooten, who don't have a tonne of experience behind them. Luckily, they're both great. They work well both separately and together, as sworn enemies who are forced to put their differences to one side and find out that they may be more alike than they once thought. Aase is fantastic as Angie, a peep show dancer with a lot of strength and angst, who shares a huge love for her nephew who she is the guardian of. Schrooten is hilariously charming as Sally, a religious individual who is battling inner demons revolving around feelings that she wishes she didn't feel. Given that we spend 90% of the movie with just these two characters, it's a good job they bring their A game.
The movie's strongest feature is easily it's visuals. It's bursting with vibrancy and colour, each scene soaked in neon lights and an enticing colour palette. It doesn't always feel undeniably 80's, but it does at least attempt to look the part. Accompanying the gorgeous visuals is a pretty cool pop-induced soundtrack, that matches the vibe of the movie perfectly. It's immersive and fun, giving Revealer a little edge and enjoyment. There aren't a huge amount of horror visuals, but when they occur, they are pretty cool, utilising practical effects in true 80's fashion. More horror definitely wouldn't have gone amiss, but the horror we did get was great to look at.
What lets Revealer down, alongside it's lack of scares, is it's story. Given that the main characters are a stripper and a religious protestor, the dialogue goes exactly where you'd expect it to and doesn't give nearly enough discourse, despite it being fairly engaging and often amusing. It doesn't have anything new to say, and it fumbles when trying to put it's message across. Whilst a single location horror is always welcome among fans, this one doesn't have enough meat on it's bones. It would definitely work better as a short, or as a tiny moving part of an anthology, as there is barely enough here to warrant a feature length run-time. Luckily, it doesn't overstay its welcome, but even it's 86 minute run time feels a little stretched.
Revealer may be worth checking out if you're a fan of lower budget horror, or already have a subscription to Shudder. The lead performances are genuinely fantastic, the actresses have believable chemistry, and the visuals are a whole lot of fun with their neon lights and practical effects. However, the story is pretty under baked, and it isn't the most exciting single location horror. Revealer needed more gore, more scares and more discourse, and the final reveal is underwhelming to say the least.