6:45 Movie Poster | ©2022 Well Go USA Entertainment

6:45 Movie Poster | ©2022 Well Go USA Entertainment

Rating: R
Stars: Michael Reed, Augie Duke, Armen Garo, Ray Mancini, Remy Ma, Thomas G. Waites
Writer: Robert Dean Klein, story, Craig Singer
Director: Craig Singer
Distributor: Well Go USA Entertainment
Release Date: March 22, 2022

6:45 is like a homicidal version of GROUNDHOG DAY, or a far less playful variation on HAPPY DEATH DAY, to cite two of the most familiar films with this theme.

Bobby (Michael Reed) and Jules (Augie Duke) take the ferry to picturesque Bog Grove Island. Despite what its name suggests, Bog Grove is sunny and has lots of two-story beach-adjacent cottages.

The couple check into a hotel with an eccentric proprietor (Armen Garo). Their first morning, the alarm clock goes off at 6:45 AM. The proprietor knocks on the door before the couple have time to get out of bed. They have breakfast, set out to explore the town, get romantic, and then something terrible happens.

Bobby wakes up at 6:45 AM – and realizes that he’s reliving the same day. Unwilling to tell Jules what he thinks is happening, Bobby tries to change things, but with the same result. Then he wakes up at 6:45 again …

We get onscreen cues as to where we are in the story’s progression – “Day 1,” “Day 2,” and so on. We also get more clues than perhaps are intended by director Craig Singer, who also wrote the film’s story, and screenwriter Robert Dean Klein.

Obviously, for the audience to become immersed in a story that’s about repetition of events, the ideal is for the events themselves to be compelling, and for there to be a great payoff. If the ride is gripping enough, we can accept a less-than-shocking climax; if the finale really hits home, then we can justify a certain amount of blandness in the repeated bits.

But 6:45 doesn’t really deliver on either front. The filmmakers plant a few too many hints, so that a watchful viewer may reach correct deductions by the midpoint.

6:45 defines both Bobby and Jules by their relationship problems, at the expense of most other aspects of their personalities. This doesn’t exactly endear either of them to us.

Reed and Duke have conviction, and achieve believable romantic chemistry in their characters’ happier moments, but they can’t entirely overcome the way they’ve been drawn.

Oddly, 6:45 succeeds most on the pure horror front. The gore increases as we go, building to quite a tableau at the end. The environs are intriguing, quirkily old-fashioned and unique, and also slightly creepy (closing credits reveal that 6:45 was shot in New Jersey). Director Singer generates a growing sense of dread, with a killer who is able to find his way in pretty much everywhere.

There are also what could be either puzzle pieces or technical goofs. Because of the clearer suggestions, these aren’t needed, and serve mainly as distractions as try to figure out which they are.

6:45 has horror merits. Still, its baked-in reiteration of scenes that aren’t in themselves engrossing to get to a denouement that works but is half-expected make this primarily for viewers who really cherish this subgenre.

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