Monday, 7 November 2011

Red White & Blue (2010)

Directed by Simon Rumley

Written by Simon Rumley

Stars: Amanda Fuller, Marc Senter, John Michael Davis and Noah Taylor

Release date: May 17 2011, US (DVD) October 10 2011, UK (DVD)

Setting the bar high foruncompromising cinema, Simon Rumleys RedWhite & Blue resurrects the true meaning of horror and delivers it with a swift, brutal blow. Far from just another horror movie however, you have an often emotional drama, intriguing mystery thanks to its non linear narrative style, all capped with a building senseof dread which ultimately propels towards a shocking finale.

Upcoming British director Simon Rumley not only looks set to be a new master in the horror/thriller genre buthas also presented Red White & Blue beautifully - effectively depicting the sometimes mundane, blue collarcommunity of rural Texas and the seedier side of its nightlife. While the film starts quietly and unassumingly the atmosphere created by Rumley always evokes the feeling that nothing is quite what it seems and it’s very easy to become transfixed by the slowly unfolding action.

The story involves Texan localErica (Amanda Fuller) who leads a sad, lonely life completely of her own choosing. Erica’s nightly activities involve visiting the most run down of bars and subsequently sleeping with all manner of different men as though she were brushing her teeth or changing her clothes. To describe Amanda Fullers realistically portrayed character as casual would be a gross understatement. She is also cool and cold along with it, never intimate with the same man twice and maintaining a steely resolve never to form any emotional attachment. It would be safe then to assume then that Erica has a past- which is where rock band member Franki (Marc Senter) comes in; a young man who just wants to get famous and live life free and loose.Thinking nothing of his wild one night stand with Erica months before, he unfortunately has no idea just how badly his former tryst is going to come backto haunt him and those he cares about most.

In present time, Erica findsherself subject of the unwanted attentions of post traumatic Iraq war veteranNate. Nate may just be the first man Erica can remember coming across who isn’tinterested in a one night stand (despite her best efforts to bed him) ratherNate wishes to ‘get to know her’ and potentially be her friend. When Franki makes a shocking discovery about Erica that turns his life upside down it leads him very quickly down a dark path of despair and his subsequent actions cause the lives of those around him to be caught in a deadly crossfire partly of his own making.
Never a film that relies ongratuitous violence just to fill theatres, instead the blood and gore seen here is often difficult to watch, yet handled with a focus on realism. Any viewers expecting to see characters dispatched creatively left right and centre by a variety of gardening tools will be disappointed. If, however, you enjoy a substantial build up, decent character development and are prepared for a disturbing final act which grips and refuses to let go then this film might just be for you.

Performances in the film are notable across the board, particularly in the case of the three leads. Mark Senter plays the fun loving, albeit deeply caring young man with conviction,particularly his scenes involving his cancer stricken mother. The characters downwards spiral later on in the film is some of the most impressive stuff this young actor has ever done and he has already proved his acting chops in the film adaption of Jack Ketchum’s The Lost.A more understated performance by Amanda Fuller doesn’t experience as much time to breathe as the others but she certainly plays cool, detached and ultimately damaged brilliantly. Noah Taylor as the sociopathic Nate is nothing short of terrifying.
Once Nate is quite literally out for blood you can wave goodbye to the caring character witnessed earlier. The second that rage has taken over we see all of Nate’s pent up angerand aggression unleashed and drive him to commit some truly despicable acts of madness and revenge.

Ultimately Red White & Blue is a film that takes its audience on an incredibly powerful and emotionally draining journey, right through to its bleak denouement.There are no easy answers, there are no happy endings and nothing is tied up neatly with a pretty pink bow. Red White & Blue is a grim, relentless, sucker punch of a film and an absolute must see.

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