Do not resuscitate…
Irish film-maker Paddy Breathnach follows up his 2007 trippy horror Shrooms with another entry into the ‘bad kids must be punished’ genre, but this one lacks the originality and fear factor of its predecessor.
Hospital janitor Kenneth (Britain’s own Andrew Lee Potts) is nicknamed Freak Dog – the film’s American title – by the medical students, thanks to his creepy behaviour – mainly involving femalebodies in the morgue – and weird ticks. What they don’t know, however, is that as a boy Kenneth witnessed the murder of his mother; all Cat (Arielle Kebbel) and her friends want is for him to leave them alone. When Kenneth threatens to tell the hospital about their drug use, the group gives him a lethal dose of various illegal substances that leave him in a coma. Feeling guilty, Kat injects Kenneth with an experimental drug which she hopes will bring him round; instead, it gives him a seriously strong out of body ability and, as her friends start dying, Kat realises that she may well have helped Kenneth get his ultimate revenge…
Red Mist certainly has moments that will have gorehounds screaming in delight – there’s death by acid, blood-letting and car door, to name just a few – but there’s only the flimsiest of narratives holding these moments together. And not is the story so slight as to be transparent – and indeed, Breathnach’s influences are more than obvious throughout, with everything from Ausie classic Patrick to modern slasher I Know What You Did Last Summer casting a shadow across proceedings – but it also takes an age to get going. For the first half hour we are subjected to endless medical exposition, so it comes as a surprise that despite Cat’s in-depth research, she is still deeply shocked at the side effects of the wonder drug she is secretly administering to Kenneth. Yawn.
A series of shock moments linked with a flimsy revenge tale and Casualty-style dialogue, Red Mist is merely the latest in an epidemic of lazy modern horrors that eschew any brain for easy shocks and buckets of blood. 2 stars
A making of featurette joins an interview with star Arielle Kebbel and a look at the cast of the film on the loose in Northern Island. 2 stars
Stars Arielle Kebbel, Andrew Lee Potts, Alex Wyndham
Director Paddy Breathnach
Distributor Revolver Entertainment
Format DVD & Blu-ray
Released July 13