Directed by: #AlainDarborg
When Nadja becomes pregnant, they make an attempt to rekindle their relationship by traveling to the north of Sweden for a hiking trip but soon their romantic trip turns into a nightmare.
Swedish filmmaker Alain Darborg’s bitingly cold thriller Red Dot has landed on Netflix, but does its pin-point story hit with the sharp accuracy of the titular red dot? Well, it certainly begins pretty confidently. We’re introduced to Nadja (Nanna Blondell) and David (Anastasios Soulis), a couple who are expecting and, after one and a half years of engagement, decide to take a trip into the snowy white plains. Their pleasant overnight plans underneath the Northern Lights are abruptly shattered, however, when someone is hiding in the shadows.
As dark thrillers go, Darborg’s Red Dot progresses quite nicely. At least for the first half. We’re very quickly shown that these two characters can and will make poor decisions and it can be very frustrating to sit through. Not only that, but many “twists” and turns are launched at us which adds some confusion. The performances from Blondell and Soulis are decent, though the same cannot be said for the predictable writing and questionable story beats. Once the film hits the midway point it starts to falter and the pacing does freeze up, even with its short 80-minute running length, and the once intriguing nature flutters off into a frail, ridiculous shell of a film. The constant and increasingly dumb choices make it a tedious watch, and a scathing finale that perhaps feels too overstuffed with ideas brings it to a dying close.
One of the few pluses for Red Dot is its mostly brilliant visuals. That includes the brisk camerawork, with some truly great composition, especially one moment that includes a flare gun igniting into the air. A good amount of special and visual effects complement the dramatic action happening within the frame, and though not necessarily adding to the narrative, it does give horror and gore fans their bit of enjoyment. That said, one scene in particular was quite grim even for me, and it wasn’t at all needed in my opinion, at least not to the extent shown.
So, although it has fairly good visuals and contains solid acting, Red Dot fails to hit the mark with its overreaching story and unsure pacing. I think it bites off more than it can chew, but it does have the redeeming qualities (though not the writing) of an intensely riveting piece of filmmaking. Is it worth a watch if you have the time? Sure, why not. It’s ideal viewing for a rainy day, but don’t expect too much.
Red Dot is now streaming on Netflix.