Spiritual Horror Revealer (2022) Strips Down the Apocalypse to Intimate Proportions
First Non-Festival Release: June 23, 2022 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)
Director: Luke Boyce
Writer: Luke Boyce, Michael Moreci, Tim Seeley
Runtime: 86 Minutes
Starring: Caito Aase, Shaina Schrooten, Bishop Stevens
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Angie (Caito Aase) signed up for another shift at the Revealers Peep Show Booth in an effort to make some extra cash for a pair of sneakers. Before she even gets into the door she is harassed yet again by the judgmental Christian activist Sally (Shaina Schrooten) who protests outside her work every day. Musing on the fact that her boss Ray (Bishop Stevens) struggles to get anything fixed inside, Angie prepares for another boring but hopefully lucrative shift. Her hopes of fast cash are erased when the apocalypse ensues outside trapping Angie inside her booth and forcing Sally, of all people, into the one next to her. They must work together if they want to survive the end of days.
Revealer is a sentimental, neon soaked 80s throwback that shows how much fun a contained, low-budget horror film can be.
While the story is pretty thin, the action and dialogue in Revealer keeps the story going in satisfying ways. Making use of two confined locations, the peep show booth and the tunnels underneath the store, Revealer maximizes its space by packing as many apocalyptic moments as possible without stretching the story too much. Only once the pair start exploring the tunnels does Revealer waver in its strongly crafted vision.
The more compelling aspect of Revealer is the relationship that builds between Angie and Sally. At the beginning there is clear revulsion displayed between the two before they develop a strangely sentimental relationship once they have the chance to lean on each other. They discover hidden truths about each other and themselves that make them stick their necks out repeatedly for the other. Gaining courage and conviction, the duo learns that the only way out of their hell is by working together. Aside from Sally getting the majority of the development, making Angie’s arc suffer, the pair make for quite intriguing characters despite only scratching the surface of their dynamic.
Salvation and forgiveness are the focus of Revealer not only in a biblical sense, but also in an interpersonal one. With a film set during the rapture, the obvious comes forth in the fact that both Angie and Sally are clearly on the cutting room floor, neither making the one way ticket to Heaven nor instantly banished to the fiery realms of Hell. Instead, they journey together to prove their goodness to God, and each other. Throughout their trek, they find ways to help each other physically in times of danger, but also comes to terms with their guilt and shame. Their situation seems less dire only when they think of protecting each other.
It's clear that Revealer operates on a scant budget, but the team makes a kickass movie regardless. Caito Aase and Shaina Schrooten deliver fantastic leading performances edging the emotional and comedic beats with ease. The film is awash in a bright neon flush and favors a heavy synth score that both evoke nostalgia of the 80s. Is it in right now? Sure. That doesn’t stop Revealer from being an entertaining and well-crafted little film.
There’s something heart-warming about indie horror that hits all the right boxes for you, and Revealer is that kind of film for this reviewer. While it can get heavy handed and clunky at times, there is clear heart put into the film. It makes the most of its meager budget to create endearing characters with a solid relationship figuring out the hellish realities of the world and themselves. Fans of contained horror films, 80s throwbacks, and character driven stories will enjoy the simplicity of Revealer. The only disappointment is what it could have been had it not been held back by its budget. Don’t cast your judgment until you give this indie demonic creature feature a spin.
Overall Score? 7.5/10