Red Mist (DVD)

Red Mist (DVD)
Jennifer Love Hewitt called. She wants her role back.
Updated: 12-23-2008

I Know What You Did Last Summer In Med School… um, I mean, Red Mist follows the fray after a slightly retarded, lowly janitor called Freakdog gets a brutal, brain-slamming prank played on him by a cool clique of undergraduates. He falls into a coma… What do to? Anyone know CPR? Hell, no. They're in training to be doctors, not paramedics!


Panicked, the ne'er do well student body dumps the janitor's body from their car to the cement in front of the E.R. They leave skid marks as they peel out to safe anonymity, but one of the young ladies, conscientious Catherine (Arielle Kebbel, best known to horror fans from The Grudge 2), frets and regrets.


As Freakdog (the working — and much more apropos — title of the movie), played perfectly limply by Andrew Lee Potts, lies in his hospital bed, Catherine comes up with a crackpot plan. Trying to right the wrong, she takes it upon herself to inject the patient with a top-secret, experimental wonder-drug that will hopefully snap him out of his stupor. It works, but unfortunately, the Freakdog learns some new tricks — one of which is mind-control. So while his mortal frame languishes, his vengeful thoughts runs wild and free, and the body count starts to mount.


Sure, it's passé. But what low-budget horror flick doesn't have a few tried-and-true formulas? It's expected. Still, it would have been nice to see UK director Paddy Breathnach (he of the direct-to-disc bad trip, Shrooms) rise to the occasion with a little more pep than our coma-patient. Aside from the opening prank, the movie doesn't even show a blip on the figurative EKG monitor for nearly an hour.


Up until then, it's pretty much just everyone sniping at one another. Catherine wants to confess, while the rest of the crew insist on keeping mum about what they did to Freakdog. He's alive, isn't he? He's getting better, right? Easy for them to say, until they start dying. The question is… will Freakdog spare his champion Catherine, or will he not forgive her original sin?


The deaths themselves are brutal — a jabbing throat stab, insides liquefied with acid, a self-rape with a long shard of glass, a head crushed in a slamming car door, and so on — but there is so little suspense leading up to them, and such a routine approach to the actual killings, you might as well be watching a test pattern. Even Kebbel's above-par acting, likability and true gusto can't revive this humdrum horror cliché.


The DVD includes a making-of featurette, showing interviews with the actors and director on-set, as well as some behind the scenes footage. Basically, like the movie itself, it's routine surgery.


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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson

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