Tuesday, July 17, 2012

REVIEW: Red Mist (2008)

Several years ago, I reviewed a movie called Shrooms. It was one of my first reviews and helped shape the way I do things on this blog now. But little did I know that the director of Shrooms came out with another movie just a year later, and it is called Red Mist! Who am I, after all, to deprive you of the works of a man who gave you a film with a talking cow in it? Let’s see what ole Paddy Breathnach has been up to since the last time we caught up with him...

Director: Paddy Breathnach
Starring: Arielle Kebbel, other people maybe

We start off with a bunch of medical students joking around and acting like jackasses, because hey, why bother having characters who are in any way likable or human at all? The lead girl is Arielle Kebbel, most famous for being in the holocaust of all things holy and good, The Uninvited – seriously, send this girl some flowers! She plays a girl named Cat. Her thing is that she’s independent and tough and doesn’t want a boyfriend, the last one being by far the most important aspect of her character, because 99% of women don’t have personalities outside of their boyfriends and relationships! So in this respect, Cat is a good character.


She and the rest of the jackasses go to some bar and exchange some dull dialogue trying to set her up with some guy, but she’s too tough to fall into a man’s arms right now, preferring instead to wait until the third act of the film to do that. This lasts until the crazy janitor guy, Kenneth, comes over and tells them that he knows they’re doing illegal drugs and threatens to go tell on them like a five year old, so they invite him back in and goad him into doing those drugs with them until he has a seizure from the blinking lights and goes into a coma!

Ah yes, don't YOU remember when YOU left comatose creepy janitors on the side of the road when you were in grad school? What, you don't? Oh...well I'll shut up then.

Then we get those tired scenes from every shitty-ass horror movie like this where the characters debate whether or not to tell the authorities – are we supposed to be invested or something? “Oh, I might actually have to face consequences for the stupid things I did? The horror!” Shut up Red Mist, you’re neither compelling nor relatable here. Oh, I forgot, and for some reason they all call him “Freakdog,” because that’s a sensible insult, right? You might as well have just called him “poopy pants,” like a proper two year old. But I guess this does serve as a poorly done way to shoehorn in a serial killer catchphrase, and it is better than anything My Soul to Take could come up with, so there is that.

Cat thinks about telling the authorities but eventually decides she doesn’t want to risk losing her scholarship either, and so she does the sensible thing and just starts pumping him full of illegal experimental drugs! Wait, what?

Yes, apparently that’s the conclusion this girl draws when she feels bad about something – just play God and use the person you feel bad for as a guinea pig. Truly a wonderful example of human decency this girl is! How do you even come to the conclusion to do this anyway?

Oh, and there’s also this guy:

He’s some kind of older doctor who works in the hospital and constantly acts like he’s a villain in a spy movie, constantly too serious and too over dramatic for this kind of performance. He’s supposed to be a doctor? Seems more like a disgruntled corporate lawyer than anything…

So yeah, if you can’t tell by the fact that I’m just rambling on now, the movie doesn’t have much substance. There are a lot of scenes of the characters talking about the same things over and over again. “Oh, we should tell the authorities, this is serious!” “No, we could lose our scholarships and reputations!” “Okay, but first let’s have this same conversation five more times!” AHHHHHHHHH!

What’s that? We’re in a horror movie, we’re forty minutes in and there aren’t any horror elements yet? That is completely asinine. Let’s fix that right away! So I guess the ghost of Kenneth the comatose tattletale janitor can possess peoples’ bodies for a few minutes now and make them kill other people, all because of Cat’s experimental drugs. He does this to the night security guard aaaaand one of the girls gets the axe:

Back up a minute though – he can jump into peoples’ bodies because Cat gave him a weird combination of drugs? What the hell? It’s very, very stupid and even worse because it’s so damn poorly explained! Is he some kind of supernatural voodoo person already? Or are the drugs supernatural? MAKE MORE SENSE YA DAMN MOVIE. Gosh. My whole week is just ruined because this movie doesn’t have a logical sequence of events!

So the one guy who has been a total jackass and the ringleader of the “protect our reputations by covering up the dead guy” club the whole movie…continues to be a total jackass! Surprised?! This whole character, and every other character like this in every other movie like this, is a plot-hole. I’m really supposed to believe that this guy, this heartless, petty whiner, is going to be a doctor someday? A doctor? Whose main priority is caring for patients and saving lives? I’ve met rocks with more affection for the human race!

Luckily for him, he gets killed off during a kinky sex scene in the janitor’s closet! Well, to be fair, that's how I'd want to go.

He thought he was just getting kinky bondage sex, but he got kinky bondage having-whisky-poured-down-his-throat...you gotta take what you can get, I guess.

What’s next, another scene of them standing around talking about how they have to keep the secret and blah blah blabbity blah? SKIP IT! We then get a Paddy Breathnach trademark from Shrooms in a death scene shown off screen, something not done as much here as in Shrooms, but annoying all the same, because it looks pretty damn gruesome and intriguing:

Uh, yeah, sorry to interrupt your candlelit slit wrists seance, but...you're kinda dead.

It’s the Paddy Breathnach way; just skip over anything that may have been interesting to watch and use the ‘what you don’t see is scarier!’ excuse. Because that’s good filmmaking, right?! Why are you running the other direction?!?

OK, so then we get some black-out where Cat wakes up in her underwear in a sleeping bag in the woods…? What…why…oh, screw it; if you expected this thing to start making sense now, you’re probably of the same descent as the director. We never get a real explanation for this scene, and even when she finds her clothes strewn around in the trees and her phone, with a convenient video on it to show her what happened…well, vaguely anyway. We don’t get to see much of it except that, apparently, SHE was possessed by Kenneth the tattletale janitor ghost guy! Which…mostly means nothing.

"I didn't get enough Likes on Facebook! Sob!"

We then see that Kenneth the tattletale janitor ghost is a pervert as he makes this other girl strip down to her underwear and cut herself with broken mirror shards! I wonder what Keifer Sutherland has to say about that!

She tried so hard but they just wouldn't pick her to be the extra in Marilyn Manson's new video...

Then Cat gets arrested for the murder of her kinda-sorta-boyfriend whatever guy, and the cop doesn’t seem to see anything weird about the fact that this girl and everyone she knows have been killing each other off lately…I guess he graduated from the Barney Fife school of police work. She splashes hot coffee on him and then runs away.

She ends up going to the hospital to kill Kenneth by turning on strobe lights to activate his epilepsy – which somehow still works even though he’s comatose… - and also strangling him and unhooking him from his life support. Uh, bit of an overkill there, girl – you coulda just unhooked him from the life support you know! Would have been easier and you wouldn’t have wasted so much energy. I mean sheesh. From the way this chick is going on, you’d think she was actually just a figment of Emily Browning’s imagination the whole time.

And ironically enough, this movie ends with Arielle Kebbel back where she belongs in a mental hospital, just like in The Uninvited! And because she was in that movie that I hated so damn much, I HATE THIS ONE TOO! Grrrrrr, hatred! There were maybe one or two scenes that worked in this thing, but most of it was just boring, and seriously confusing as to what the hell its premise was supposed to be about. None of the characters are likable and at no point do you really feel much empathy for them, so it just falls flat. All in all, would have been better with a talking cow in it; that’s my final verdict.

All images are copyright of their original owners and I do not own any of them. Also, all talking cows are copyright of their original owners, especially ones that are hallucinations brought on from bad 'shroom trips.