Red Mist (2009)
|Genre(s): Horror / Thriller|
|Anchor Bay || NR - 85 minutes - $26.97 || February 10, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-02-15|
Writer(s): Spencer Wright (screenplay)
Cast: Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Carter, Stephen Dillane
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Plot Synopsis: The medical students at Forthaven General Hospital study hard and party harder, until a cruel prank – to protect their jobs – accidentally puts the facilities creepy janitor into a deep coma. But when one responsible student (Arielle Kebbel) tries to revive the degenerate loner with an experimental injection, she instead sends his brainwaves berserk. Will a sudden spree of sick kicks now claim the guilty one-by-one, or has the ultimate out-of-body experience ushered in a bloodbath of brutal revenge?
I’d call Red Mist a combination of Flatliners, The Grudge and I Know What You Did Last Summer. What started out as an interesting drama quickly turned into a laughable supernatural horror-thriller with shoddy acting – mainly from the supporting cast – and very little suspense buildup from its director, Paddy Breathnach.
The lone bright spot really is star Arielle Kebbel who also appeared in The Grudge 2 and the recently (as of 2/15/09) released, The Uninvited. Not only a beautiful young woman, Kebbel does possess some acting talent that would easily rival some of her peers, including the lovely, and overrated, Jessica Alba. At the same time, it’s unfortunate she’s stuck with these low-budget horror films (could be worse, of course), as she could develop into a fine actress.
One of my problems with the story has less to do with the supernatural elements, which didn’t mesh all too well with the reality Breahnach establishes, but it’s instead with the writing by Spencer Wright, in his debut. First, none of these characters are that likeable, even Kebbel as the remorseful doctor comes off pretty dangerous, not to mention all the other nameless/faceless supporting characters that are even worse. On the other front is that creepy janitor who, hence the creepy nature, also is obsessed with Kebbel’s character (stalking and filming her at the club, which is what got him in trouble).
So, you have a “villain” that you detest – the guy is evil wrecking lives who had no business in what happened – and “victims” who come off selfish rather than owning up to their actions (not for a lack of trying from Kebbel, though). I guess if that moral debate were the center of the story, in a drama, I’d be OK with that, but it isn’t. It drives the main character for sure, but does little to add to the plot overall.
All that said I didn’t feel Red Mist was an entirely terrible film either. Yes, the characters are detestable (for the most part) and the plot could’ve used some work (seeing a guy in a coma taking over others just isn’t that suspenseful), but I did find at least the first act was interesting from a personal drama perspective (not unlike in the movie Hit and Run). I think if it were not for the taste of blood and violence, this could’ve made a fascinating drama than a supernatural horror flick.
Overall, if you’re into movies like The Grudge or even I Know What You Did Last Summer (though this has a darker, more serious tone), then you might give Red Mist a shot. I can’t think it’ll be one of the worst movies you’ll see in 2009 anyway.
Anchor Bay releases Red Mist with only a few featurettes: The Making of Red Mist (20:46) a fairly long featurette that contains a lot of behind-the-scenes footage with interviews from the cast and crew, though a good portion is just laying out the plot; Extended Interview with Arielle Kebbel (9:22) is just more interview footage with the star; and The Red Mist Cast in Northern Ireland (4:22).
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Red Mist is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.78 aspect ratio. At times the picture looks a tad soft and with the style choice, it’s also fairly darkly lit even during daytime scenes.
The DVD also comes with a regular (a.k.a. average) Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.
Red Mist starts out well enough but then devolves into a silly supernatural horror film with primarily unlikeable characters (even one’s who are in and out). It’s not close to being one of the worst films of 2009 and if you’re really into the genre, it might be worth checking out, otherwise leave this one on the shelf.