“Red White & Blue” is an example of independent cinema that uses a grand plot and makes everything work with subtlety, very strong performances and a rarely seen type of narrative that adds to the effectiveness of this horror/suspense drama.
The intro shows a trailer trash brunette named Erica who sleeps with different men every night in a small Texas town. In the apartment compound where she lives, there’s Noah who is a well-meaning bearded dude who will help her when she gets fired from her job as a house cleaner. Erica rejects his acts of kindness at first but will later give in because he really is a stand-up guy (aw shucks). Conflict arises when one of the men who Erica had a one-night stand with discovers she left something behind that has potential to ruin his entire life. That sounds vague, but I’m afraid that is as far as I can go because more details mean less thrill punches. Just trust me when I say it has a really good story that is intelligently wrapped around the tropes of horror/suspense movie conventions.
The cinematography projects a dark and warm atmosphere that would probably taste like honey but would feel like it has an aftertaste of poison. Huge credit should be given to whoever thought of shooting in Austin, Texas because the setting is pretty scenic. I didn’t think for a second that Leatherface resides in the area. The BGM that is mostly comprised of piano arrangements works effectively as it has resemblance to what was successfully used in Takashi Shimizu’s “The Grudge” and “Marebito.” It sounds pretty but you also feel the sense of dread fucking up your psyche.
Simon Rumley carefully peels out the layers of his characters by providing concise moments of well-written dialogue exchange and encapsulating the poignancy in the two lead’s portrayal. It rings true in the dramatic scenes of Amanda Fuller (Erica) and Noah Taylor (Nate) together where they blew the roof off. I mean, the acting displayed here alone deserves a loud praise.
This is one of the more mature horror movies that I have ever encountered, and it definitely is one that I could say one of the best from the genre that I have seen in the last five years.