Red Mist (aka Freakdog) (2008) Horror Movie Review
Catherine (Arielle Kebbel), a beautiful young medical student, is looking forward to a bright future, while avoiding the excesses of her fellow student doctors; they enjoy partying hard on a cocktail of alcohol and whatever else they can steal from the hospital pharmacy. She does her work and treats everyone with respect, including Kenneth (Andrew Lee Potts), a strange morgue worker with a disturbed past, who has a crush on her. Kenneth is a joke to everyone else and a victim of constant bullying.
Things come to a head one night out when Kenneth is abused by the group, much to the discomfort of Catherine, and threatens to expose their illicit behaviour to hospital authorities. Plying Kenneth with a lethal cocktail of drugs and booze to implicate him in their crime leaves him on life support, deep in a coma. You just can’t keep a good weirdo down though and Kenneth reaches out from deaths door to bring bloody justice to those who sent him there.
Red Mist was filmed in Northern Ireland and features a predominantly Irish cast (you may know Katie McGrath from BBC's Merlin) but the movie is set in the USA. This initially put me off watching it as I imagined all sorts of awful American accents being thrown around the place. Thankfully I was wrong; the actors did a decent job, with only a hint of their Irish accents creeping out occasionally; you wouldn’t notice it unless you were listening attentively for it. The choice of location throughout Red Mist complemented this approach too with no obvious signs of the actual location being visible. I guess a movie like this, which is destined to make most of its earnings from the American home video market, is more likely to be popular if set there too.
The core premise of Red Mist, the idea of the psyche seeking revenge, hasn’t been overdone before; it reminds me of a cross between an old X-Files episode (The Walk, Season 3, Episode 7) and the concept of demonic possession. The story is interesting and fast paced with some inventive shocks along the way, some of which are difficult to watch. It’s obvious that the director Paddy Breathnach is no stranger to horror; his previous foray into the genre, Shrooms, is a trippy terror in which a group of adventurous teenagers journey into the woods in search of some magic mushrooms. Shrooms was also filmed in Ireland but set there too.
If you’re a fan of horror movies then I think you’ll enjoy Red Mist. It has elements of a slasher film but it’s deeper than that, there’s more substance to the story. The story has enough originality to it to keep your interest throughout and a young, attractive cast that also keeps your eyes engaged. Ultimately it’s about expectations. If you don’t set them unrealistically high you’ll have a good time.
3 out of 5.
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