That scene may be the most unsettling footage in the yet-to-be-released film — not because it marks a crescendo of brutality that ends with a deadly shooting involving her character but because it eerily mirrors the actress’s real life.
The role of Valerie is played by 30-year-old Aisling Tucker Moore-Reed, a southern Oregon writer and actress who shot and killed her uncle, Shane Moore, in July 2016. The filmmakers held their first auditions just over a year later. Filming started in April 2018, about five months before she was arrested and charged with murder.
The revelation that she starred in a film where she acts out a fatal shooting, confirmed in an Oct. 27 Facebook post by Siskiyou Productions and first reported by the Daily Courier, has raised new questions about the actress’s state of mind when she killed a family member more than three years ago. Reed, who goes by Tucker Reed and Wyn Reed professionally, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges.
Cellphone video that captured the moments just before and after the real-life shooting played in court this January as a tearful Reed listened, and was later published by local TV station KOBI.
The deadly confrontation came about while Reed’s family was at odds over a home that belongs to Shane and Kelly Moore’s 91-year-old mother. Shane Moore had hired a notary to certify his mother’s signature on a grant deed to the house the day he was shot.
Video footage showed Shane Moore walking up to his mother’s home in rural Jackson County, Ore., despite a restraining order that barred him from coming near his niece after he allegedly assaulted her in 2016.
“He’s coming into the house, goddammit,” Reed said in the video. “You son of a b----. Get out of here.”
Reed pulled the trigger and shot Moore in the chest from just inside the doorway. He wailed in the home’s driveway as he bled out. A neighbor performed CPR as Reed’s mother told a 911 dispatcher that her brother had been “threatening us for months.”
“He wasn’t supposed to be around me,” Reed said in the seconds after the shot rang out. “He’s violent and dangerous. He threatened my mother’s life.”
Moments later, she began to sob.
“I didn’t mean to shoot him in the chest,” she said through tears captured on the call. “Oh my God, if he survives, he’s going to kill us all.”
Moore, who was 63, died of the gunshot wound.
Although police took Reed’s phone shortly after the shooting in 2016, they returned it to her without finding the video because they did not have the passcode to open the device, the Oregonian reported last year.
Kelly Moore, Reed’s mother, who is a New York Times best-selling author and former California lawyer who represented model Anna Nicole Smith, told The Washington Post her daughter’s defense team gave police the video in an attempt to convince prosecutors that the shooting had been in self-defense. Law enforcement has testified that it was able to access the footage in mid-2018.
“My daughter didn’t do anything wrong,” Moore said. “I was there, and she did not do anything wrong.”
After reviewing the video, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Greif decided not to set a bond after Reed was arrested on the murder charge.
“Mr. Moore was barely even in the door when he was shot, and he was shot in the chest, and it was pretty close range,” Greif said during a court hearing this January. “She was angry that he wasn’t dead. And to me, that says that kind of nailed down the evidence for me.”
Reed broke down in tears and rushed out of the courtroom after the judge sent her back to jail.
“I feel like I’m going to faint,” she said, as a bailiff quickly escorted her out of the room. “I feel like I’m going to throw up.”
The Oregon woman, her mother and her grandmother — who were all in the rural home at the time of the incident — have consistently said the shooting was in self-defense, according to court records and interviews. Her lawyers have argued Reed did not intend to kill her uncle and had little experience with guns. Larry Roloff, her current attorney, did not return The Post’s request for comment about his client’s role in “From the Dark.”
Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert told The Post that law enforcement recently became aware of Reed’s role in the movie, in which she plays a character who fatally shoots someone. She declined to say whether the new information would impact the case, because the investigation is ongoing.
The production company behind the movie told The Post that the filmmakers did not know about the criminal charge against its lead actor when Reed was cast.
“Due to the movie being so low budget, and it being our first venture, we did not do background checks,” the film company said in an email. “If we ever do a movie again in the future, any one of us … we now know that a background check will save us. Lesson learned, no matter how little money we have, this will save the headache.”
Reed used the pen name Tucker Reed when she blogged as a student at the University of Southern California, where she became an activist after accusing an ex-boyfriend of rape and joining another student to file a federal complaint against the university for failing to adequately investigate allegations of sexual assault. She continued to go by Tucker Reed while writing for the Daily Courier, the local newspaper in Grants Pass, Ore. When she joined the cast of “From the Dark,” she acted under the stage name Wyn Reed and dyed her blond hair dark brown.
The filmmakers say they hope to set a premiere date at an area theater in 2020.
Siskiyou Productions told The Post that almost everyone on the crew found out about the manslaughter charges against Reed on July 23, 2018, one day after the filming wrapped. The film’s editor, who was dating Reed at the time, found out a few weeks before that, the company said in an emailed statement.
An executive producer told the Daily Courier he believes the film’s editor had been delaying the final cut because of Reed’s ongoing criminal case. The murder trial has been delayed multiple times and has not yet been rescheduled, according to court records. Siskiyou Productions told The Post that the film’s editor resigned last week.
“The rest of us all believed her story and felt for her deeply upon first finding out,” the company said. “It seemed like she was an incredible victim and hero. Our perspectives changed upon seeing the video."