Combustible Celluloid
With: Augie Duke, Michael Reed, Armen Garo, Thomas G. Waites, Sabina Friedman-Seitz, Allie Marshall, Remy Ma, Michael Reed, Sasha K. Gordon
Written by: Robert Dean Klein
Directed by: Craig Singer
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and gore, sexual content, nudity, and language throughout
Running Time: 93
Date: 08/06/2021

6:45 (2021)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Clock Sour

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This slasher-thriller begins promisingly, following the familiar "time-loop" movie rules, but it eventually devolves into something else, finally feeling like little more than an unsatisfying gimmick.

Jules (Augie Duke) and her boyfriend Bobby (Michael Reed) decide to take a vacation together after surviving a huge fight. They ride a ferry to Bog Grove, and island tourist mecca that, they discover, is curiously empty. They check into the Cozy Nook, where the proprietor, Gene (Armen Garo), hints that this particular weekend is an anniversary of an event that no one wants to remember.

Even though their alarm unexpectedly goes off at 6:45 a.m. the next morning, the couple still spends a delightful day exploring the shops and having lunch, and then, out of nowhere a hooded figure stabs Jules and breaks Bobby's neck. Weirdly, Bobby wakes up again at 6:45, and it's the same day, though Jules has no memory of what happened. Can Bobby find the secret of the repeating day, and prevent Jules and himself from being murdered?

6:45 has the interesting idea of focusing on a couple, rather than just a single person, but the filmmakers don't seem to have put much thought into just how Bobby — the one stuck in the time loop — would try to communicate with his partner, Jules. He just seems to mope around and get mad, pretending to go through the motions of the day. (Perhaps a better idea would have been for the couple to be stuck together, as in the much cleverer, more touching Palm Springs.)

As the movie goes on, Bobby becomes less and less likable, and he never seems to use the time-loop for anything positive. One day, spent entirely indoors, might have had some charm, but it's punctuated by angst, and then a dumb character mistake.

Perhaps most frustrating is the fact that he can never seem to escape the masked slasher. The killer merely walks up to the couple and does his stuff, and Bobby frequently just seems to stand there, slack-jawed, while the killings happen again. When the final act comes, 6:45 attempts a "twist," but the nature of the twist negates the entire idea of a "time-loop," and it feels like we've been swindled.

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