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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Red Velvet (2008/3Mac Studios DVD)

Red Velvet (2008/3Mac Studios DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C+     Feature: B-



Red Velvet is perhaps one of the most original slasher flicks in a long while.  With a healthy sense of irony, Red Velvet takes the traditional “teens in the woods” scenario and frames it within a twisted storytelling context.  Aaron and Linda are neighbors, and upon meeting up at the Laundromat begin a frustrating, short-tempered, and foul-mouthed flirtation.  Aaron makes up a story about Linda’s friends who are off partying in the woods without her.  In the sort of demented catharsis only a horror buff would enjoy, Linda helps Aaron spin a tale of each of her friends’ gruesome demise.  It’s all harmless fun until Aaron volunteers to drive Linda up to her friends’ cabin where it becomes harder to tell what the story is and what’s real.


This is precisely the sort of filmmaking that one always hopes to see from an independent production.  It’s new, inventive, insightful, and edgy without resorting to over-the-top gore and nudity.  The dialogue is clever at times and always unconventional, though the delivery by actors Henry Thomas and Kelli Garner teeters on amateurish.  This is Red Velvet’s one major downfall.  All the actors are trying very hard, which is not something the viewer should notice.  Henry Thomas in particular seems to be acting his balls off trying to be the borderline psychopath prick who you love to hate.


For a low-budget indie horror flick, Red Velvet has surprisingly good picture and sound quality.  The picture, in 1.85:1 widescreen has some minor grain and fuzziness, but these are compensated by the color quality and overall well-executed cinematography.  The sound, likewise, avoids much of the room tone and echo issues that plague so many low-budget films.


There are a fair number of extra features on this disc, which, like so much else on this release, are surprisingly good.  On top of the standard-issue commentary track and trailer, the bonus section features two “Behind the Scenes” featurettes (one focusing on the actors, one on the excellent practical special effects), a music video from Johnny Mac and the Cadillacs sporting footage from the film, and a photo slideshow.


Red Velvet is absolutely a film that horror aficionados should take a look at.  Its unique take on the slasher subgenre more than compensates for the shortcomings of the cast and crew.  But then again, it’s rare to find a low-budget independent flick that doesn’t suffer from these same pitfalls.  Take Red Velvet for what it is.  Even if you don’t like, you can’t deny that it’s original and interesting.



-   Matthew Carrick


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