‘The Reaper Man‘ scores a major win for independent horror.
Jaron Lockridge is a filmmaker who can make a lot happen with just a fraction of what Hollywood offers its directors. His talent is on full display with his latest film, The Reaper Man (2023).
An independent filmmaker hailing from Tennessee, Jaron Lockridge wanted to see more black characters in the horror genre. Now, he has created a rich, provocative story in The Reaper Man. And with it, a terrifying new villain. The story follows Jessica (Jessica Jai Johnson The Stix (2018), a grieving widow who has lost her husband in a home invasion gone awry. In lieu of allowing time to heal her wounds, she asks a Voodoo Priestess, Sheba (Tarsha Gibson Allies (2022), to bring her beloved back to her. What returns to her is a far cry from the even-tempered man she knew. A dark spirit has returned – and it wants vengeance.
Kenon Walker’s (N-Secure (2018)) performance as Joseph seamlessly goes from endearing to unsettling as he transforms from a loving devoted husband to a vengeance-seeking zombie. I’m getting serious Candyman (1992) vibes from this film. It is a slow burn, but nevertheless an engaging story from start to finish. Grief and betrayal are two of the most powerful emotions of the human condition, as is faith. Voodoo is one of the most interesting and complicated systems of belief. One that seems to come with more warnings of karma than promises of salvation and peace. It reminds you that for every action, there will be an equally visceral reaction. And sometimes, to get what we want in the moment, we may suffer an eternity.
Director / Writer / Cinematographer / Executive Producer / Grip, Jaron Lockridge has given us a true labor of love and pride. He lost his father during the filming of The Reaper Man. Here is a loving tribute to a man who clearly nurtured an amazing talent in his son. With a tiny budget, actors who failed to show up, and locations that he wasn’t allowed to access until just hours before call time, Jaron had a crew that consisted mostly of himself, a makeup artist, and one other producer.
No small feat.
I look forward to his future endeavors and highly recommend The Reaper Man.
The film is coming to digital platforms and video on demand on April 18th, 2023. Watch the trailer below!