DVD Review – Red Canyon

Red Canyon

Dir: Giovanni Rodriguez
Scr: Giovanni Rodriguez and Laura Pratt
Starring: Christine Lakin, Tim Draxl, Norman Reedus, Justin Hartley
90 mins, 2008
Distributor: Chelsea Films
Red Canyon was made in 2008 and is receiving it’s UK home release on May 23. That pretty much sums up the quality of the film. Sorry to give the ending away so quickly. Often it’s easy to pre-judge films that have sat awaiting distribution deals but a lot of the time there’s also a good reason as to why that is.

The plot revolves around brother & sister Devon and Regina. As they gallivant into a spooky cave bad things inevitably happen. Then ‘Some Years Later’ the couple drive back to the region along with some friends. Despite undergoing a traumatic experience they seem to think it’s a good idea to go back to settle up the sale of their recently dead mother’s house. Back in the old town they run fowl of locals and old acquaintances

It all descends inevitably into the old cock-eyed hicks staring down the protagonists with their “city folk ey?” schtick. The only real difference from everything that’s come before is that Devon & Regina actually know a lot of the local types, but their friends bare the brunt of local hospitality. From there Regina slowly starts to unravel as the memories of her ordeal in the cave begin to surface (well there’s a real shocker – really what kind of brother and friends does she have). As Regina loses, the locals pounce on the out-of-towners, leading to an array of very unimaginative chase and home invasion scenes. If you’ve seen ‘Stray Dogs’ or ‘Wolf Creek’ you’re on the right path. Despite the menacing locals wearing masks, presumably to look creepy, you know exactly who they are because they basically tell the group they are going to menace them out of town. So the chance to create real suspense is instantly thrown out of the window.
The local contingent of villains, led by Boondock Saints Norman Reedus, are an odd-bunch. Too methodical and emotionally attached to the couple to be classed as mere-deranged killers but lacking any real motive for their actions. Instead they come across as a bunch of bored morons. Similarly Devon & Regina’s friends are just as baffling and probably more annoying. You’re just wishing harm to befall them they instant they appear. They’re unpleasant and worse still boring. One classic moment shows us just how tough the friends are as they open a cupboard door, a shotgun knocks them down, goes off right next to their heads and one of them exclaims – slightly miffed – “I hate this place”. Damn, I wish I was that unflustered after a surprise shotgun fires off right next to my bonce. Quickly following this we are treated to “the least suspenseful dog chase ever”. Not to give too much away but all the “terror” and “menace” finally gives way to the old twist in the tail. Which in all credit to the film makers I wasn’t expecting. Because it comes so far out of left field it makes very little sense.
Looking around other websites I came across some reviews for Red Canyon. Usually I would never directly reference reviews but there were an awful lot stating Red Canyon to be 5 stars or 10/10. The largely said what a gripping, dark tale of murder and love this was. On closer inspection these reviews were written by people who only felt the need to comment on Red Canyon. There must really love it. Perhaps there is a special club for enthusiasts of the film who convene to dress like their favourite characters while they play drinking games involving gas masks and dog chases. On the other hand they’re bogus reviews written by crew members. Sorry for the rant but that kind of thing pisses me right off.
Red Canyon ultimate crime for a thriller. Indeed any film is that it’s boring. The mystery element never intrigues. The horror moments aren’t horrific and the drama is turgid. The photography looks cheap like it was filmed on a DV cam and the acting is hammy at best. I give this film 5 stars… not really
Red Canyon *

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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  • xer 4th May 2011

    great trailer on youtube there


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