By Roxy Tart
Red Letter day, written and directed by Cameron Macgowan is a pretty cool concept for a movie. A mysterious group sends out a slew of red letters to a quiet community pairing them up with someone who has opposing views, and tells them they need to kill the person before that person kills them.
Now if this happened to me, I would just lock my door, stay inside, and lay low until it was all over. Because A. I’m not really into murdering people in cold blood, and B. this whole event isn’t sanctioned by the government like in The Purge, so if you do decide to kill the person on your list, chances are, you’re going to jail if you survive. Unfortunately for some of the people in this community, that doesn’t seem to matter. In fact, one guy thinks it’s ok to murder a teenager just because he’s a teenager. Nice neighborhood huh?
This is a pretty good horror-comedy, even if some of the dialog seems incredibly forced, and there are parts that feel super slow. And I don’t just mean “movie-making slow”, I mean, like the characters have no sense of urgency. The daughter, Madison (Hailey Foss) is in a house, most likely getting murdered, but her mom, Melanie (Dawn Van de Schoot) takes the time to tell a very long, and unnecessary, story to her son, Timothy (Kaeleb Zain Gartner) while they are sitting in the car outside. There’s a very pissed off woman out there who’s after Melanie, but she thinks it’s a good idea to pull over and stop the car just to tell the kids that they’re in this together…something that I very much would have said as I was pushing 80MPH getting the hell away from there.
The practical effects were stunning, and the level of creativity with the injuries and deaths were top notch. I have two words for you, jaw fracture. Just wait, it’s worth it. I also loved that our hero was a middle-aged mom living in suburbia. Her relationship with her kids and their relationship with each other felt real, and like something we could all relate to.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the internet cutaways, some of them seemed almost too serious for the level of ridiculousness that this movie rides on, but it did help to give you the idea that this was happening all over…although the end of the movie didn’t seem to support that, so I was a little confused.
For a small budget film, this movie was big on visuals and had plenty of gore. And even though there were a few things that left me with a “huh?” look on my face, overall it was a fun trip to suburbia.