JANUARY 18, 2009
I hate when something negative chains my movies together. Friday and Saturday’s movies concerned three people tied together over a minor event, and now today’s Red Mist is, like yesterday’s Hit and Run, a movie about really fucking stupid people trying to cover up an accident. But there are two key differences. One – the stupidity here is even MORE ridiculous, since these people are doctors and thus should be smarter, and two – this one ain’t AS bad.
It’s still bad though. The biggest problem with this movie is that it always focuses front and center on the Arielle Kebbel character, without ever really developing any of the other folks in the core group. Thus it’s a bit dull as a slasher film (which it often emulates, though it doesn’t exactly follow the template to a T), because you know she’ll be fine and everyone else will be dead. The scenes in which her friends get killed are often only long enough for you to understand who you are looking at before they are killed, thus killing any chance of suspense. You think of the older slasher movies (particularly the first couple of Friday the 13ths), and in a lot of cases, the Final Girl is on equal footing with the friends until folks start dying.
Another problem is that I don’t like any of them, even Kebbel. I was actually rooting for Kenneth (the “bad guy”), who is the latest in a long line of horror movie characters who are mentally handicapped in some non-descript way, are killed, and then seek revenge on their tormentors. I guess Kebbel’s character is supposed to be sympathetic because she makes a sad face when her friends are mocking him, but since she fails to actually defend the poor sod (plus she’s the one to convince him to stay at the party, knowing her friends are planning to fuck with him), I don’t really like her either. Kill em all dude, I’m with ya!
Also his last name is “Chisum”, which causes much unintentional humor when spoken by an actor with an accent.
It’s also one of those movies in which people would have survived if they bothered to pay the fuck attention. Kebbel designs some superdrug that she hopes will wake Kenneth out of his coma, based on some newsclippings she has seemingly printed out herself about how the drug can restore brain power or whatever. But then after shit starts going wrong (his brain is so advanced he can possess other folks and have them kill one another), she looks a bit further IN HER OWN FOLDER and “discovers” that the drug could cause a side effect: out of body experiences. You’d think if someone was smart enough to actually create a medication, they’d look through their own goddamn notes first.
Plus, I am really getting sick of being treated like an idiot when I watch horror movies. Ever since Saw made it big, suddenly every movie with even the slightest bit of a twist has a flashback sequence that supposedly presents the stuff we saw in a new light. And that’s fine for a movie with a convoluted narrative, but this is not one of those movies. We actually get a flashback to remind us that when Kenneth was being tormented, the kids all called him “Freakdog”, after we see it written with blood at a crime scene later in the movie. The space between the initial scene and the flashback is maybe forty minutes, and I hardly consider that to be a very surprising development, since we know damn well that Kenneth is controlling people with his mind at that point (plus it’s the name of the movie, according to the IMDb). Maybe they were hoping that “Freakdog” would be the “Rosebud” of lousy horror movies, but I am going to guess that they just thought we needed to be reminded.
For like 5 minutes, I actually loved the movie though. Near the end, Kebbel is on the phone with her friend, and explains to her to stay away from anyone with a nosebleed (it’s the sign of being possessed). But the girl is at a club, so there are going to be a ton of disappointed cokeheads tonight. Then it gets even funnier – Kebbel shows up as the friend is dying, and she yells “someone get an ambulance!” and some offscreen guy yells back, apropos of nothing: “Get it yourself you bitch!” Hahahaha.
One last thing – if you’re an epileptic, I would steer clear of this movie. Apparently there was actually a warning about it at Frightfest or something, but it’s not on the DVD. The entire finale is prevented with strobe lights, giving me a headache that still hasn’t gone away.
Actually, you know what? Just steer clear even if you’re not an epileptic. You have better things to do.
What say you?