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A young doctor in a US hospital administers a powerful and untested cocktail of drugs to a coma victim. But instead of curing him, it triggers a powerful "out-of-body" experience and enables the patient - a depraved and dangerous loner - to inhabit other people's bodies and, through them, take revenge on the bullying medical students who were accidentally responsible for his condition. The doctor, who was herself a part of this group, is also targeted and as her colleagues are singled out and relentlessly picked off, she realises that she can trust no-one - friend or stranger - as this comatose killer moves in and out of bodies at will, getting ever closer as his murderous supernatural powers increase. Written by
A refreshing new approach towards the good ol' fashioned, combining some known flavors to create a new dish.
In the past years, writers of Horror screenplay have really had to adjust to the new standards set by progress. The good ol' Teen Slashers are still good, but not groundbreaking, and the audience have become bored with them (and rightfully so, how many films with the same story and settings can we take? Even the characters are the same but with different names!) So some attempted to be groundbreaking by being graphic and sadistic (like Hostel), some being ironically smart (like Cabin in the Woods) and some by being plain sick (like Human Centipede).
However, in Red Mist, writer Spence Wright has managed to combine some familiar elements in a never before seen way (at least by me). Wright took the good ol' fashioned "prank gone wrong" scenario (like in Tamara or Sorority Row) and combine it with a touch of the supernatural, as the victim of the prank is locked in a coma but has out-of-body experiences during which he takes possession of people and make them murder the ones who were involved in the prank. This was, in my opinion, a refreshingly original idea.
As for the characters, the "rules" remained pretty much intact. There's the selfish bastard who passionately and roughly convinces the rest not to tell anyone what happened so they don't destroy their (and mostly his) future. The're the good guy who has a thing with the main protagonist, he just gets carried away and allows himself to be convinced by the selfish bastard. There's the "princess" who doesn't want her daddy to find out, the cold "goth bitch" who couldn't care less, and the straight A geek girl who panics. And of course there's the protagonist, representing sort of a mixed up combination of all of the above. Classic, nothing new here. Acting was pretty good.
In my opinion, the film was really aching for a twist, a clever surprise to "seal the deal" and really make Red Mist one of the best. Unfortunately, there were no surprises. The final scene was a little vague and not so easy to understand, the entire ending felt a little anticlimactic. That's another challenge Horror screenwriters will have to learn to deal with - learning how to make climactic endings again. Having our minds blown away might be a lot to ask for, but it's part of the makings of a truly good Horror film.
All in all, Red Mist (btw I can't understand why they've chosen that name, should have stuck with Freakdog) was pretty original in its own way, and fun to watch. I would gladly recommend it to Horror fans who'd like to see something "newish".
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