REVIEW: Red Snow (2021)

dir. Sean Nichols Lynch.

Olivia (Dennice Cisneros) is a writer with a vampire manuscript she can’t sell and a love for the macabre. When a bat hits her window late one night she brings it inside her house, only to find it transforms into a man. Thrust into a friendship with Luke (Nico Bellamy) as he is forced to heal in her garage – and relegated to drinking pig’s blood – he helps her plug plot holes in her story and as they begin to trust each other the advent calendar ticks down toward Christmas, whilst murderous factions hunting Luke get ever closer.

Featuring some interesting elements and plucky performances, Sean Nichols Lynch’s Christmastime horror nevertheless doesn’t offer much in the way of originality around vampire lore. Kept mostly to the confines of Olivia’s house, there are some issues with pacing, the narrative so heavily reliant on the relationship between the leads that it sometimes meanders. The development of Olivia and Luke’s friendship is fun to watch, with Olivia pivoting seamlessly between fear and fascination, and while Luke’s nice-guy persona is eventually questioned it’s difficult to look at a cherubic face like Bellamy’s and assume nefarious intentions.

Isolation and darkness tend to be a perfect mix for Winter-set horror, but the film fails to take advantage of its setting, spending so much time indoors one questions why it was titled Red Snow at all. The interactions between Luke and Olivia are sweet, but once Luke’s decidedly more evil ‘friends’ show up the film takes a familiar turn that feels like an episode of True Blood, with villains that are caricatures and a score that tells us something scary is happening when what we see doesn’t quite match up.

There is always space for new and original takes on vampire horror, however Red Snow‘s reliance on common tropes and questionable motives delivers what is ultimately an enjoyable but forgettable entry.

⭐⭐

Jerry Sampson

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