Red Snow (2021) – Film Review
Director: Sean Nichols Lynch
Cast: Dennice Cisneros, Nico Bellamy and Vernon Wells
By @Roger Crow
Aspiring vampire-romance novelist Olivia Romo is spending her Christmas holidays alone in her snowbound cabin near Lake Tahoe and collecting rejection letters from publishers.
One night an injured bat slams against her window, so Olivia takes the creature into her garage to nurse it back to health.
Inevitably the bat transforms into a handsome vampire. His name is Luke, and though not a fan of crosses, garlic, or sunlight, he takes a liking to Olivia.
The unlikely companions form a friendship, but Olivia grows suspicious of Luke’s intentions as his past begins to catch up with him.
First, there’s the strange detective who comes looking for Luke and his lethal associates. Then, there’s the pale figures creeping outside Olivia’s cabin at night.
Imagine a mash-up of Twilight fan fiction mixed with one of those dreadful Hallmark Christmas TV movies. Add a smattering of Misery and you get the idea behind this woeful horror comedy.
The performances are pretty am dram; even Mad Max 2 veteran Vernon Wells is sold short by clunky dialogue. The script sounds like it was written for viewers who have no concept of what a vampire is, and scenes of exposition in the first act have an inertia which makes you wish writer/director Sean Nichols Lynch had done more than just lock the camera and have his actors read the dialogue… while nothing else happens.
Exposition should always be delivered while doing something, whether it’s making dinner, driving a car or building a bookshelf. Anything rather than just have two characters sat opposite one another talking and listening.
It doesn’t help that heroine and hero share zero chemistry, and when the bad guys turn up they are just generic antagonists with no sense of freshness. Panto villains have more depth.
Obviously shot on a budget, the minimal locations could have been far more interesting with some radical lighting or set decoration, but no. None of that.
In the hands of Edgar Wright, this could have been something special, but Red Snow is a plodding misfire which needed a more polished script, a greater sense of kinetic energy in the action scenes, and funnier gags.
Remember how witty episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were? Or What We Do in the Shadows? This is the polar opposite.
Even that redundant epilogue is annoying, so a good job the film is only 80 minutes.
I love a good festive horror comedy, but like the most obvious gag in the movie, this anaemic offering “sucks”.