Monday 23 May 2011


Set in the remote badlands of Utah, Red Canyon is now available on DVD. Watch the trailer and check out my review, next...

Haunted by the memory of a vicious attack years ago, brother and sister Devon and Regina (Christine Lakin) return to their family home with a group of friends in tow. The locals aren't too happy to see them back in town, and soon they have to deal with some family revelations and find themselves terrorised by an unknown masked man.

Rotting on a shelf since 2008, it's hard to see why they bothered to release this film at all. The story is firmly in the Hills Have Eyes territory, along with some dubiously shot flashbacks and a bit of Cujo thrown in for good measure. As for what we're supposed to be scared of I don't know, as this is a thoroughly mundane attempt at raising a few screams. At a perfectly reasonable 98 minutes running time, it feels overlong by about an hour.

An interesting location gets spoiled by some terrible dialogue, some shitty acting and a story that's about as scary as it is plausible, all handled by a rookie director who's clearly in over his head. As the film's main heroine, Christine Lakin does everything that's expected of her, i.e. look pretty and run around a lot screaming. The rest of the cast, however, struggle to fein interest in the ridiculous story of small town conspiracies, instead preferring to deliver their lines with the same amount of gusto you'd apply to opening a pipe of Pringles.

I do feel for Norman Reedus. Starring in the cult 'classic' The Boondock Saints and recently appearing in the TV adaptation of The Walking Dead, he deserves better than playing the one note villain role in direct-to-DVD crap like this. I could say that he's the best thing in it, but it's little compensation for having this blight on his CV. It's such a laughably amateur attempt at filmmaking that it feels the need to subtitle one of its main characters, despite the fact he's speaking in English, albeit with a bit of an accent.

And then, just when you think it's all over, the film decides to end with a disturbing scene of sexual assault that the filmmakers should be ashamed of. Coming completely out of nowhere with no character growth to back it up, if that's the level you have to sink to to make an instantly forgettable piece of trash at least jarringly noteworthy, you're in the wrong business.


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