Paddy Breathnach returns to bring us 'Red Mist', a gripping tale of a man who wreaks revenge upon those who have wronged him from within his coma. Whilst 'Shrooms' was a fairly forgettable affair, 'Red Mist' is a much stronger effort and although its not particularly original it's most definitely worth the watch.
The story first introduces Kenneth, a mortician with some serious social issues. Having watched his prostitute sister assaulted when he was young, things have never got much better for him. He seems socially inept, choosing to get his jollies from videoing corpses using his camera phone whilst cutting into himself. One day, student doctor 'Catherine' catches his eye and that evening he follows her to a party, but, whilst struggling to reach a pick-up line, he is scorned by Catherine's stuck up friends. They ridicule him and he retaliates by threatening to go public with a video he has of one of them stealing the hospital meds for recreational use. In return they invite him to the party, but without realising he is epeleptic they pump him full of drugs, booze and then give him the full strobe effects sending him into a seizure. Wracked by guilt Catherine tries to resussitate him using an experimental drug, one which heightens frontal brain function, allowing Kevin to leave his body, possess people and then use them to exact his revenge.
The plot is fairly linear, but as you might have guessed, it's innovative enough to do the job nicely and there is the odd twist here and there to keep it interesting. I couldn't help but think that the whole psychic killing by someone in a coma must have been influenced by the Euro shock film 'Patrick Still Lives', but the similarities stop there, this movie is no where near as sleazy as that.
One thing most definitely worth a mention is that the pace throughout the movie is kept quite high and Breathnach uses the plot well to introduce and develop his characters without the need for any lengthy, momentum killing, introductions. The movie has a good range of characters, the group of victims are satisfyingly un-likable, and I swear, as it is sad to say, they will remind you of people you know! The lead role played by Arielle Kebbel gives it a bit of the over acting at times, but she is fit enough to forgive her the odd moment.
It doesn't take the movie long to reach it's first victim, allowing a little bit of atmosphere to be built up before hand. Naturally, as the killer of each murder isn't the same person, as different characters are possessed, there is a lot of scope for some imagination to be used, and to good effect, a lot of the murders, whilst not excessively gory are quite brutal; the acid drinking scene in particular stands out, as the guys cheeks melting and blood spewing was quite gross-out. The effects are pretty cool and what is shown is nice and satisfying. The only thing which disappointed was that there was very little suspense before each of the murders, and I think a few more shock tactics could have been employed quite easily without stretching the movies already limited budget.
Overall, 'Red Mist' is one of those movies which is strong throughout, enjoyable but not terribly scary, which really would have made it exceptional. Despite reminding me of 'Patrick Still Lives' it felt refreshingly different to the more recent horror releases and is well worth the watch.