The Haute Horror of Red White & Blue
In outline, Simon Rumleys revenge-triangle flick has the dense dramatic content of a soap-opera plot, but instead of gazing intently, the beleaguered reach for knives and duct tape. The style is haute-horror in a grungy Austin setting: As damaged nympho Erica (Amanda Fuller) notches up guys, Rumley provides sharply cut visual storytelling, minimal dialogue, and aura-inducing piano. Ericas boardinghouse neighbor, Nate (Noah Taylor), helps her get a Home Depotish job, but his Mansonite looks and left-field story about animals he tortured as a kid promise bumps ahead in their friendship. Then, suddenly, one of Ericas hook-ups, aspiring rocker Franki (Marc Senter), re-enters the picture, caring for his sick mother and jamming with his band. The movies gears grind irrecoverably here as cancer suspense, HIV panic, and gruesome freakouts are whipped out in short order; Rumley could have gotten things rolling without all of the above. But the pacing and performancesparticularly Frankis resentment toward Erica and of Nates dead-eyed protectiveness of herare more organic than in most horror, and Rumley ably and unironically fleshes out his characters workaday lives with suitable location work. By the time the twisted revenge violence happens, the story has built up an undertone of maddened grief and confused rage thats unnerving.
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