(2008/3Mac Studios DVD)
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.
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.
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.
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