Reviews | Written by Martin Unsworth 27/08/2021

RED SNOW [FrightFest 2021]

Quirky vampire novelist Olivia (Dennice Cisneros) is preparing for Christmas at her Lake Tahoe cabin. Publishers pass over her books, but she’s determined to break through with her latest book. Suddenly, she’s disturbed by a bat flying against her patio window. Seeing it’s injured, she takes it into her garage so she can get help for it. The next day, however, instead of a squeaking little bat, there’s a handsome naked man in his place. Despite her initial alarm, she comes around to the idea that she has a real-life vampire, Luke (Nico Bellamy), in her house and after feeding him with pig’s blood from the butchers (“It’s like the difference between drinking craft beer and hot piss”), she begins quizzing him about vampire life.

Unfortunately, Luke isn’t alone, as he has two other vampires looking for him - who are much more threatening than he is. There’s also a vampire hunter, Julius (Mad Max 2’s Vernon Wells), on their tail, who gives Olivia the creeps more than Luke does. She’s happily getting material for her book, but things are about to change when the other children of the night come calling…

Written and directed by Sean Nichols Lynch, Red Snow is a delight. Cisneros plays ditzy well, really embodying the character of Olivia. Her wide-eyed wonder at meeting a real vampire is infectious, and she carries the role beautifully. Likewise, Bellamy gives Luke the vampire a unique edge. While obviously still a dangerous beast, seeing him warm to his ‘captor’ while he wears her mother’s clothes is a nice change from the usual portrayals. The other vampires are more like the usual depictions, all super-strength and bent on bloodlust and destruction.

There’s a great balance between the comedic elements and the threat, and the fact it works so well while weighing heavier on the former is a credit to Lynch. It never resorts to spoof, the humour coming naturally through the conversations and Olivia’s character.

The vampire genre has become diluted over the years and has never really recovered from Twilight, so it’s great to have a film that embraces absurdity and meta-references but still has bite.