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RED MIST (2008)
Published by Miranda on 2009/4/2 (1608 reads)
RED MIST (2008)
Directed by Paddy Breathnach
Review by Jason Tosta
Released by: Starz/Anchor Bay Entertainment
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: English 5.1 Surround, English Subtitles
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.78:1
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: Making of featurette, Interview with lead actress, Cast in Ireland featurette
Trailer Online: Yes
When I first saw the title RED MIST, I thought of a new soft drink that could grace the market for all the teens out there. “It’s full of caffeine, hip and quenches your thirst, it’s RED MIST.” Then I slapped myself and started watching this modern horror flick by SHROOMS director Paddy Breathnach.
Kenneth is a mentally challenged, obsessive hospital janitor. He has a crush on a smart and sexy intern named Catherine. One night, Catherine and her fellow intern friends are partying at a local bar. In walks Kenneth and after some generic, “Get out of here, Loser” banter from the other interns, they invite Kenneth to join the party. He does and ends up humiliated and eventually driven to a strobe-light-booze-drug-induced seizure.
Conflicted about getting in trouble, the interns dump poor Kenneth on the side of the road. He arrives at the hospital in a coma. Catherine can’t stand the guilt of what she let happen, so she sets out to help Kenneth in any way possible. This includes injecting him with a banned clinical trial drug that’s been shown to help stimulate brain activity in coma patients. Old Kenneth’s brain becomes stimulated alright. Still in a coma, he’s now able to psychically possess people to do his bidding. Revenge, sweet revenge is on the menu and the interns are the main course.
RED MIST, also known by its original title FREAKDOG, is a basic revenge/horror story. It shares a lot in common with the 1978 Australian shocker PATRICK, which was about a comatose patient terrorizing hospital staff telekinetically. The acting is generally very good and the directing is sure handed. The film features a couple of really good set pieces. One of which involves intern Sean being force-fed acid through a funnel by a possessed nurse. There’s a nice build up to the scene and pay off in the end.
My real complaint involves the script. It’s really bland and by the numbers. There are no real twists or turns. You know what’s going to happen and it happens, end of story. No amount of shaky camera, quick edits or stylized visuals are going to make up for that. In a movie like this, the kills have to really be over the top and memorable in order to take your mind off the thin storyline. They aren’t. Ultimately, the script holds the film back from reaching its full potential.
In the end, I feel a bit bad coming down too hard on RED MIST. It’s a good popcorn movie for a Saturday night. That’s what I recommend it for. It’s wholly unremarkable but has enough going for it to entertain for its brisk eighty-five minute running time. Note to U.S. distributors–you should have gone with the original title, FREAKDOG, here in the states instead. Now that’s a title!!!
The special features on the disc consist of a 25 + minute “Making of” featurette, an extended interview with star Arielle Kebbel, and a “Cast in Ireland” featurette. A pretty good set of extras. The inclusion of the film’s trailer would have been nice though. Note: the special features contain spoilers, so I recommend watching the movie first before checking them out.
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