Red White & Blue (2010)

red-white-and-blue-poster1This is one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Actually, it is so much more than a horror movie; it is a gritty and raw look into the intersecting lives of three unlikely people. It is the horror version of Kids (1995) meets The Last House on the Left (1972). Located and filmed entirely in Austin, Texas, this hipster horror movie is simultaneously shocking and heartbreaking with its horrific brutality and socially relevant discussion of HIV and PTSD.

Red White & Blue follows the individual and interconnected stories of Erica, Franki, and Nate. Erica is the most interesting character with her sociopathic aloofness and self-hatred. Played by Amanda Fuller (an Ellen Page look-a-like), Erica is the poster girl for nymphomaniacs. During the first twenty minutes of the film, we watch Erica spiral further into her black hole of despair by sleeping with nearly ten different men, giving the viewers a snippet into her self-loathing existence. red-white-and-blue-movie-blood-vest-flag-noah-taylorShe is a real girl with pimples, bad makeup, and cheap clothes. There is no glamour here and Fuller plays the role with raw authenticity and vulnerability. Franki (Marc Senter) is one of Erica’s many one night stands. You can only imagine their fate and inescapable union with the line, “Be a real man. Condoms are for homos”.  But this fate doesn’t hit home until later in the film. Meanwhile, Erica’s bleak life is pleasantly interrupted by an unexpected romance with the honorably dismissed soldier, Nate (Noah Taylor). The first impression is of a creepy man with a gaunt, dirty look, but underneath this exterior is Nate’s will to love Erica for who she is, and thus begins a gentle romance, where intimacy is holding hands and honest conversation rather than fucking and swapping fluids. The two drift through life as best as they know how until a bomb drops with unsettling news. The movie takes a 180 turn in the second half when all the characters collide in a most gruesome confrontation of epic proportions.

red white & blue 2010I like this trend that I am seeing recently in horror movies. This movement fashions films that don’t necessarily seem like horror movies at the forefront. Instead of opening the film with a shocking and bloody scene or displaying a kill every 10 minutes, violence is used sparingly. Atmosphere and tension building are used to make these moments of violence profoundly disturbing and REAL, in a sense. Real horror is typically one extreme event. Yes, of course, movies are more exaggerated than real life but real horror is real scary compared to a movie that has so many death scenes you become desensitized. Starry Eyes (2014) is another film that employs this slow-burn technique preceding its grisly viciousness, and oddly enough also stars Amanda Fuller and Marc Senter from Red White & Blue.

red white & blue movieNow, don’t get me wrong. This movie is incredibly violent but it sneaks up on you and leaves you feeling miserable with unreserved grievance. There are no protagonists or heroes in this film. These multifaceted characters portray visceral cruelty with no fucks given. There is not a single uplifting moment, chock-full of doom and despair like in the rape-revenge thriller, Descent (2007). I dare any avid horror fan to try not to feel a little piece of innocence lost within themselves after watching this movie. Red White & Blue will take a little piece of your soul and never give it back.

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Red White & Blue (2010) on IMDb

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