Red Canyon out now on DVD

Monday, 23 May 2011 09:01

Two siblings, Regina (Christine Lakin – Hellcats, Family Guy) and Devon (Tim Draxl – Supernova and the ill-fated Day One) experience a brutal and terrifying encounter with some small-town thugs. Several years later they return to the isolated town with some mates, even though Regina is still traumatised. In a bid to kill two birds with one stone, they hope to exorcise her demons and have a wild time motorbiking in the canyon.

The group stay in Regina and Devon’s late mother’s house, a rickety abode in the middle of nowhere with the exception of a few other shacks and a roadhouse frequented by red necks. Nearby lies the cave where the horrific incident occurred, and where they plan to return. Events quickly spin out of control and rather than cleanse Regina of her nightmares, they stir up local ire and end up having to fight for their lives.

Red Canyon on DVDOther notable (and shamelessly typecast) actors featured in the film include Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead, and square-jawed Justin Hartley from Smallville.

If I was being kind, I would sum up this movie in two words: ‘generic’ and ‘tollerable’. The plot, characterisation, acting and direction (by first-timer Giovanni Rodriquez) are all underwhelming. If you have seen similar slasher films like “Wolf Creek” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” you will know what to expect, only this time in a less satisfying package.

As unpleasant as their experiences are, none of the characters is particularly likeable or switched on. Lakin’s Regina comes closest, but the idiocy and/or wetness of the entire bunch makes it hard to root for any of them. For example, they find a loaded shotgun in the house and accidentally fire it not once but TWICE. In a fragile state, Regina is allowed to trudge across the desert on her own. In another instance, two characters are fleeing for their lives over some treacherous rocks. They make a death-defying leap over a gap and survive, only to risk falling to their deaths again for the sake of a gun that has slipped down the side. Quite frankly none of them would probably have lasted a night in the place even without the unwelcome attention of some disgruntled locals.

If I was looking for some positives, the Utah badlands landscape is frankly stunning to behold, and Rodriquez exploits the location for all its worth. Even on low-def DVD the fascinating red rock formations and bold blue skies look amazing. The brooding soundtrack by Robert Filomena does more to summon dread and terror than the actors and the director. Finally, the ending of the movie is somehow both telegraphed and a surprise, causing it to dwell on your mind longer than it otherwise might have.

The only extra on the disc is a trailer. For once I think that is plenty for such a generic film!

“Red Canyon” (2008) is out now, courtesy of Chelsea Films. The main feature has a running time of 90 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £12.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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