As if “Groundhog Day” wasn’t creepy enough.
“6:45” is a “live the same day over” tale in mystery thriller form. But the perils we see on screen pale with those facing any filmmaker who tells a story that circles around and repeats itself. How do you keep that repetition from turning monotonous and boring?
Director Craig Singer’s latest horror B-movie is a step up from his usual fare (“Dark Ride,” “A Good Night to Die”), a moody, meditative and murderous account of a couple’s weekend getaway that turns terminal. As in, “You can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Jules (Augie Duke of “Burning Kentucky,””Antidote”) and Bobby (Michael Reed of “Wild Boar”) take an off-season make-up trip to an island named Bog Grove, a “quaint” village with lots of Mackinanac Island-styled wedding cake houses.
The place is largely empty, and the reason for that isn’t something that the nail-clipping weirdo (Armen Garo) who runs the hotel where they’re staying gives up easily.
They walk the empty streets, boardwalks and beaches, hit the local bar where they run into oddball locals. Jules has no sooner said “I wish this day could last forever” when something awful happens. And when the alarm clock wakes them up at 6:45 the next day, they live it all over again.
It’s just that bobby is the only one getting “serious deja vu.” Jules writes that off as a dream, and when they argue, she’s the one who quips “How many times are we going to do this?”
There are strange goings-on at the hotel, and creepy occurrences at the local bar. Seeing a ghostly-pale, hooded stranger staring at them gives Bobby a clue. And seeing the fellow more than once, he Bill Murrays a plan. He will switch up their routine, avoid repeating the “same day,” foil that stranger and change their fate.
Easier said than done.
Other clues are hinted at and eventually examined in the film’s dreamy revisitings of their day, with time tracked as “Day 8,” and ever onward.
Reed adds a few shadings to the performance as Bobby’s past is peeled away, his “problems” (jealousy, a temper, etc.) touched on.
And Jules? She’s just along for the ride, questioning Bobby anew with each day’s repetition, diving into their “Let’s stay in today” sex scenes. Hey, anybody to “break the cycle,” right?
Singer’s solution to the “repetition” problem, slowing things down for a slo-mo packed third act, doesn’t solve the film’s quest to maintain interest in this story. And the over-explaining that fleshes out the finale is redundant. We’ve already guessed most of what’s revealed by the very bad supporting actors playing stereotypical bar tender, cops, etc.
I found this more “interesting” as a problem-solving exercise than entertaining, more “watchable” than “good.”
MPA Rating: R, for strong violence and gore, sexual content, nudity, and language throughout
Cast: Augie Duke, Michael Reed, Armen Garo, Sasha K. Gordon, Thomas G. Waites and Remy Ma
Credits: Directed by Craig Singer, script by Robert Dean Klein. A Well Go USA release.
Running time: 1:36