Today is Wednesday the 28th of December, and we're smack dab in the middle of the post-Christmas, pre-New Year's week where we pretty much eat leftovers, pay bills, and finish up whatever holiday themed movies we can pack into our schedules. And I'm glad we're not Christmas'd out just yet since a new vampire flick hits digital services today that I couldn't possibly wait to sink my fangs into. RED SNOW - written and directed by Sean Nichols Lynch - has been making its rounds through film festivals this year and finally, in the final days of 2021, the film is available for rent and purchase! And man, was this movie worth the wait, time, and money for. Red Snow is the perfect blend of funny yet blood and silly yet serious (enough) that makes up a fucking fangtastic modern day vampire movie! From pretty much the get-go of the movie, I found myself laughing out loud and enjoying myself so much that literally nothing could pull me from the movie. But don't let the lightheartedness of the film lead you astray: there is definitely some brutality and plenty of bloodshed to satisfy the needs of every vampire in the audience. Everything in this movie fucking rules: the cast, the vampires, the concept, the location, the kills... all of it. I know this sounds kinda cliché to say but my only real complaint was that an hour and twenty minutes wasn't enough: like a vampire craving blood, I craved more Red Snow - that's how you know you're having a good time!! Red Snow was one of the most fun films I've watched this entire year, and it snuck in in the final hours of 2021 to easily be one of the highlight films for me for the year. I think if you're a fan of not-so-serious but not-too-silly horror films, Red Snow is an absolutely necessary film to add to your watchlist, and it'd be a shame for fans of the vampire genre to skip out on this one, especially if you're into movies like The Lost Boys. Lynch put together a hell of a film here that is destined to become a cult classic; I'm sure we'll see it's fanbase grow exponentially by December 28th of next year! (Reader's Beware: possible spoilers ahead so please proceed with caution!)
Red Snow follows the story of Olivia (Dennice Cisneros) - a struggling yet aspiring author who confines herself away in a cabin in snowy Lake Tahoe. She's a novelist working on a vampire romance story that she is struggling to get published, and Christmastime this year is being dedicated to reworking her manuscript. Olivia is tucked away in her cozy cabin when an adorable bat flies right into her window and falls to the ground. Olivia leaves it alone but eventually comes around and scoops it up out of the snow and brings it into her garage and out of the cold. The vampire-obsessed novelists greatest dream comes true when the adorable little bat transforms into a fully grown, good looking fanged man named Luke (Nico Bellamy). Injured and desperate for blood, Olivia locks him in her garage as a visitor comes to the door: private investigator Julius King (Vernon Wells) is outside her home inquiring about three wanted individuals. Turns out King is a vampire hunter, and he's here looking for three vampires notorious for attacks in the area... and Olivia is currently housing one in her garage! But turns out King isn't the only one on the hunt for Luke: his kindred are silently stalking the house, knowing that the third member of their pack is inside with a human. Will Julius find out about Luke and drive a stake through his vampiric heart? Will Luke turn on Olivia and drain her veins once he's fully healed from his injuries? Will Olivia befriend the vampires and live a Twilight-esque fantasy life?! Find out in... RED SNOW!
There are three vampires introduced in the film - Luke and his two partners-in-time Jackie (Laura Kennon) and Brock (Alan Silva) - and as far as vampires go, these three look bad fucking ass. The contacts look sick, the fangs come into the scenes at just the right times, and they just look badass every time they're all together hunting. This is essential, obviously, for a good vampire movie because the rest of the movie is destined to fail if you have shitty vampires; but rest assured, these three are quite the characters (especially Jackie, damn!). And while much of the story is based around Olivia and Luke's bonding and trust building, the real subtle star of the movie here doesn't even have a bloodlust; Cisneros's performance of Olivia is honestly so innocently fun and yet badass when necessary, that she totally steals the show and she's not even a vampire! It's honestly a blast watching her go from this tea-drinking, nerdy author who obsesses over vampires into this crossbow-wielding, vampire-hunting babe she becomes. Cisneros is fun literally from the very beginning of the movie until the credits roll, and she totally makes this movie as much of a good time as it is. Throw in three bloodsuckers and, yeah, Red Snow is a good fucking time!
I think one of my favorite things about this movie is how insanely simple it is, and yet how effective it is in every way. The story is very basic - an author ends up with a vampire in her garage that she nurses back to health, who is then hunted by a vampire hunter and his "family" - and yet it smokes some of the more complicated films we've seen this year out of the water. Sometimes audience just want to be entertained and not have to think too much about context clues and hidden mysteries of the film they're watching. They just want to zone out and watch a vampire rip a dudes head off and cover himself in the blood that pours out of it. However, saying this is not an attempt to take away from the cray fun twists and turns Red Snow has up its sleeves; Lynch did a pretty killer job at making sure audiences get some pretty unpredictable and sneaky twists into the film, and they play out remarkably, and all lead up to an ending that I think most will agree is worth the investment you put into the movie - I loved it, and I think a lot of people who check out the movie will be smiling just as much as I was when the credits hit. This movie just really did it for me, I think because it does so much with so little, and it does what horror does best: it delivers just a bloody good time. Nothing feels cheesy or tacky or lame or boring - I could not have been pulled away from the screen even if I wanted to. And that's how you know that you found a horror that just rules. Check out Red Snow - I cannot possibly recommend it enough!