What happens when you cross religious extremism, the 80s Satanic Panic, and an actual apocalyptic event? The result is the latest Shudder Original film Revealer! One part dark comedy, one part demonic horror, and one part heartfelt character study, Revealer uses its limited budget and scope to its advantages to create a truly personal and isolated approach to a global terrifying event.
The End of the World
Opening in 1980’s Chicago, we meet a peep show performer Angie (Caito Aase) on her way to work, as she faces a crowd of Christian protestors led by Sally (Shaina Schrooten). The two of them have a sarcastic but tense back and forth, suggesting that this isn’t the first time Sally’s been leading this protest, nor the first time she’s begged Angie to seek God’s salvation.
Once inside her booth, the night begins like any other, with Angie performing her sexy routine for horny male customers. But at the end of the night, she hears a loud commotion outside and a terrified Sally runs inside the building, claiming that hell on Earth has opened up and the apocalypse has begun.
Angie and Sally must then set aside their differences, and find common ground as they work together to survive the apocalypse itself, complete with fighting various demons and other creatures from hell itself.
At its core, Revealer knows exactly the kind of movie it wants to be. It’s low budget, it’s campy, and it features some fun creature and monster designs that take a note from Evil Dead. But what really makes it work and differentiates it from typical exploitation cinema is the strength of its two leads.
Granted, the whole concept of two enemies becoming allies after realizing they have a lot in common has been played out. But it works here because they both feel like real people. Neither one of them is the exterior they present to the world and both performers’ natural chemistry and back and forth really sell it that they’re starting to get along.
We learn that neither one of them is really satisfied with their current lot and life, and the impending apocalypse forces them both to take a hard look at their own lives and the sequence of events, choices, and regrets that have led them both to this.
Another really fascinating feature of this movie is in how it portrays such a global event as the world ending, but always keeps things feeling very contained, and almost intimate. It’s obviously limited by its budget, so we hear some of the horrors being described on the outside, but for the majority of the film, we never leave the actual building or the tunnels underneath.
The movie isn’t really about how the world itself is ending, but rather how these two lives are facing their own potential end. In a story with such global stakes, it keeps everything grounded by focusing on just these two characters and it makes for a really interesting dynamic.
In addition, it’s incredibly well-directed with a really fun visual style that makes you realize if you’re going to deal with Armageddon itself, you might as well do it with a pure 80’s aesthetic. Overall, Revealer is a fun tale that puts a very odd couple through hell itself!
What did you think of Revealer? Let us know in the comments!