Red Hill

"Good"

Red Hill Review


Rough and raucous, this modern-day Western serial killer movie at least has some style. But the plot feels both overcomplicated and undercooked, and despite strong performances the characters never become much more that one or two personality traits each.

Shane (Kwanten) is a young city cop who has just arrived in the small Australian town of Red Hill with his pregnant wife (van der Bloom). And his first day on the job turns out to be rather momentous. First, his new boss (Bisley) and a grumpy officer (Sutherland) give him difficult jobs to do. Then a ruthless killer (Lewis) escapes from prison and heads straight to Red Hill.

Yes, Shane's first day descends into mad chaos. And there's clearly "something else" going on here.

So far so good, and filmmaker Hughes builds a palpable sense of menace as the plot develops. On the other hand, he also drops in early references to a wild panther and an approaching mega-storm, signposting everything so heavily that it's difficult to be surprised by what happens along the way, however random it seems. And the solid central narrative begins to get shoved aside by all of these arbitrary and pointless plot elements.

Kwanten holds the film together very nicely as the city-slicker forced to overcome his past in order to move forward. His wrenching fear resonates strongly, as does his resolve to protect his wife and get to the bottom of an increasingly dangerous situation that's feeling shadier by the moment. As he does in True Blood, he brings a terrific sense of physicality to the role, throwing himself into the action scenes in a way that's thoroughly believable.

Even as Hughes keeps the tone low-key and steady, he pushes every element far over-the-top. It's like he doesn't trust the central character and main plot to hold our interest, so he continually distracts us by filling scenes with extraneous hyperbole. For example, the killer is more like a comic book villain than a real person, and his story plays out in an interesting way that's unnecessarily preachy and sentimental. But we never really doubt how it'll all end. The bigger question is when that panther will turn up.



Red Hill

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th November 2010

Box Office USA: $20.9k

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: Wildheart Films, Hughes House Film, Screen Australia, Wolf Creek Pictures, McMahon International Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 50 Rotten: 14

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Patrick Hughes

Producer: , Patrick Hughes

Starring: as Shane Cooper, as Old Bill, Tom E. Lewis as Jimmy Conway, Claire van der Boom as Alice Cooper, Yesse Spence as News Reporter

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.