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Vengeance Runs Red

Written by: Muhammad Holmatov / Malcolm Brocklehurst & Philip Brocklehurst  |   Directed by: Philip Brocklehurst |  Genre: Horror

 I am being generous with this slasher. It has a start, a middle and an end and also some semi-cool ’80’s style synths pumping through your speakers. The truth is that this quick flick should probably receive a lower rating than I’ve awarded. But I’m in a generous mood this afternoon. Two guys come home in masks for some reason, sit back and prepare to do some drugs and watch some TV. Meanwhile, a dark figure with a tattoo waits outside until finally he comes in. As he treks to the initial 2 peoples apartment, they go about with their boring and useless conversation. Knock at the door? One of the guys answers it and is killed straight away. The death is clumsy and unrealistic at best. A teeny-tiny knife and a splash of blood equal to the blood elevator scene in The Shining. Almost. The sound the blood made hitting the wall was pretty lame as well. Clearly, more water than blood.

 Now, dawning the mask from his victim, our killer enters the living room of the flat, sits down and waits. The other man, suspicious because of the super red tattoo suddenly appearing on his “friend’s” arm try to sneak his way to safety. Doesn’t work. The door is locked and for some reason, there’s no way to release the lock from the inside? As the killer approaches, our remaining “bad guy?” has the reaction of a sloth. Actually, a sloth would probably react twice as fast. My point is that for someone that’s about to die, this guy doesn’t even let out a yell. Come to think of it, he wasn’t even startled when he came across his dead friend. I’m sure you know what happens next, only much funnier looking.

 Vengeance Runs Red really is the poster boy for people grabbing their phone, or some really cheap camera. No tripod or setup, and just shooting. Probably improvised. A total lack of concern for the viewers is apparent. The film is actually only 8 minutes long, and uses a full 2 minutes showing us establishing shots of random places during the start. That’s a full quarter of the film on nothing! No story progression. No characters. Just a first person view of various surroundings. The camera is all over the place. Bouncing and shaking and the edits are crazy jarring. Not to mention the utter lack of attention to the audio. The various states of wind noise felt louder than the music during the start. But worst of all? There was absolutely no attempt to make these characters feel real, or develop them. This film is a mess.

 My final thoughts? This feels like a few guys got drunk and decided to make a movie. No shot planning. No practice. No equipment. It really shows. Indie film is supposed to be about innovation, not a YouTube video with some background music. As a learning experience? I hope these guys gleaned a few words of wisdom from this review. But for me it was tough to force myself to watch this film for almost 10 minutes. Maybe the family and friends of the filmmaker will stoke their ego a little by saying it’s not bad, and that’s a good thing. That’s what friends and family are for. But I challenge anyone reading to watch this film and disagree with me. Do I personally think these guys should give up? Not a chance. Nobody is good at first. It’s through honesty, and experience that you get there.

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