There is a new film being shown only at Regal Theaters that is very similar to “Groundhog Day” and while moviegoers have most likely seen this trope be replicated again and again, the indie psychological thriller “6:45” has something to prove to doubtful cinefiles. The film takes the time-loop trope of films like “Groundhog Day,” “Happy Death Day” and most recently “Palm Springs,” and sprints to a very unique direction that should definitely satisfy viewers and most certainly justify the price of admission. Like “Midsommar,” this film establishes an eerie tone as a troubled woman and her problematic boyfriend journey to a desolate area where nothing is quite as it seems.
In this case, that would be Jules (Augie Duke) and Bobby (Michael Reed), a couple who are deeply in love even though they’ve recently been in some blowout fights. Bobby would seem to be the culprit behind these spats as there are suggestions that he cheated on Jules, that he has anger management issues and that he has alcoholic tendencies. Hoping to spend some quality alone time with Jules to get down on his right knee and pop the question, he takes her to the island resort of Bog Grove, a tourist spot that Bobby used to frequent as a kid. Bobby and Jules begin their day at 6:45, thanks to an alarm clock in their boarding-house room that neither of them had set, and spend a lovely morning and afternoon together. That is, until a disguised figure appears out of nowhere and cuts jules’ throat and breaks Bobby’s neck.
Bobby then wakes up, only to realize that the alarm has sounded at 6:45 and that he will basically relive the same day again. And again. And Again. And every time during this 24-hour stretch, Bobby and Jules will both be murdered by the mysterious stranger. Naturally, Bobby tries to avoid such a gruesome fate, keeping them away from the scene of the crime and talking Jules into spending the whole day inside their bedroom, but nevertheless, the killer always wins.
“6:45” is an accomplished terror thriller that’s both exciting and unsettling. Director Craig Singer and screenwriter Robert Dean Klein do an amazing job at tackling a predictable film trope and making it stand out from the pack. Klein artfully keeps the specifics vague and only slowly dishes out crucial information. Because of this approach, the final reveal will doubtlessly catch most viewers off guard. Singer also provides the proper atmosphere of angst and edginess. At one point there is a lengthy sequence in which the pair remain in the room as Bobby counts down the hours and then minutes to midnight which is particularly suspenseful.
Reed and Duke have excellent chemistry in these lead roles, with Duke being particularly adept at flashing the raw nerves that have been exposed due to a less than reliable boyfriend. Bobby and Jules are surrounded by characters who might be involved in the spooky shenanigans or who might merely be examples of the quirky local town. Most intriguing of them all is Gene (Armen Garo), the friendly yet overbearing boarding-house owner, the watchful bartender Larry (Thomas G. Waites) and the punkish lesbian, Brooklyn (Sasha K. Gordon). With all this being said, “6:45” is a slow-burn. The runtime is only 87 minutes, but with all time-loop movies, there is a rhythm to them and they can sometimes lose their tempo.
“6:45” is playing now in select Regal Theaters.
By Jimmy Meyer