Panic Fest 2022 Review: ‘Revealer’ Is an Endearing Minimalist Apocalyptic Horror
Chicago, Illinois. The year 1987.
The Revealers Bookstore is a popular spot for risque literature, VHS, and a good peepshow. This is the place of employment for Angie Pitarelli (Caito Aase) a stripper who finds herself consistently harassed by the holier than thou Sally Mewbourne (Shaina Schrooten). A born again Christian who repeatedly protests the little shop of torrid material. Angie thinks it’s just going to be another day of dealing with her overbearing boss Ray (Bishop Stevens) and sleazy customers… until the skies go red and Sally runs inside in a panic. Something terrible is happening and these two enemies will have to team-up if they want to survive to see another day!
Revealer is an interesting and entertaining siege horror movie with a fun time period and socio-political undertones still relevant to this day. While the ideas are quite big, the story focuses on our two main leads, making it more of a sealed room character study between Angie and Sally as they attempt to escape the apocalyptic horror that has been unleashed. The duo make excellent foils for the scenario. Angie is an avowed skeptic and refuses to believe that the dangers they face are the will of God, while Sally is simultaneously paralyzed with fear yet elated at the thought that The Rapture has struck, damning the sinners and saving the truly faithful… despite the fact that she herself has been left behind and with an abject target for her hatred.
Co-Written by Hack/Slash horror comic creator Tim Seeley, and his penchant for monsters and wit are as evident here as in his other works. And being so character focused, it allows our two main leads to develop both their relationship to each other trying to survive and give us more insight into their motivations and background. In terms of monsters, there’s an interesting variety including zombified killers, horrifying parasitic slugs full of teeth, and the demonic forces after our heroines. One of the main drawbacks of Revealer unfortunately is its scope and budget. A majority of the film is in the barricaded peepshow and other enclosed spaces, making the apocalyptic tale rather limited in scope and minimalist. Which isn’t the worst thing, but with such a huge horror story, there leaves so much room for exploration.
Overall though, Revealer is an entertaining movie about conflicting ideology and what it takes to live to see the light of day.
Catch Revealer on Shudder on June 23rd.