Directed by: #PhilipBrocklehurst
Written by: #PhilipBrocklehurst
Short Film Review by #ChrisBuick
From film-maker Philip Brocklehurst comes Vengeance Runs Red, a dark revenge thriller that attempts to do homage to the plethora of horror and slasher movies that dominated cinema screens throughout the eighties.
As two drug dealers return home to their flat one Halloween night, they settle down for what they hope to be a satisfying evening of scary movies and good weed. But their night in is soon to be turned on its head as a young man hell bent on revenge for the death of his sister will stop at nothing until he finds retribution.
It’s a shame but the film does certainly have its flaws. The aforementioned premise, simple yet promising as it is, is essentially wasted and barely touched upon until being shoehorned in right at the films finale, offering us no chance or reason to get invested and ultimately leaving you feeling apathetic towards everything in the end. In fact, it might have served the film better if the motives of our masked intruder were left unexplained, which might have made the film both scarier and much more intriguing.
The characters while somewhat relatable aren’t all that interesting either. Too much of the short runtime is spent on our two drug dealers doing pretty much nothing of note except messing around with the television and sparking up and when our promising protagonist finally does turn up, it’s all a bit of an anticlimax. The piece is also heavily underserved by unconvincing acting performances from all parties, especially when the film needs it most.
The dialogue is okay, but either needs some serious sharpening or leaving out altogether, with its main crime being that it interjects much too often as the film tries to create what tension it can. There are moments where the drama and suspense does build and it builds well, the film begins to move through the gears and you find yourself willing it on, before it then deflates disappointingly again. Poor editing and camerawork also are also at play here, taking us out of the film a lot of time and not letting the action you’ve been waiting for play out in any satisfying way.
Vengeance Runs Red is a film that you want to root for but there are too many missed opportunities here and you can’t help the feeling of an unfortunate waste of potential. Very rough around the edges and while that does give this ragged hammer horror some charm, it is definitely in need of some fine tuning. Despite its efforts to be a fun tribute to those that inspired it, it unfortunately has little chance of making any similar kind of mark.