Red Hill review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Red Hill is an Australian thriller with strong Western overtones and a horrifying villain. Jimmy Cooper, played by True Blood’s Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), is a city bred police officer who relocates his wife and burgeoning family to the quiet Australian high country. His hopes for a peaceful and pleasant life for he and his pregnant wife are soon shattered when, on his first day in the new force, it is revealed that a local murderer has escaped prison and is heading their way to seek revenge against those who put him away.
The film has a promising beginning, throwing you head first into the action and catching your attention. Even at the end plot takes some unexpected twists in the final quarter, whilst its level of violence and suspense is as you would expect of a film of this calibre. It hardly pushes the intellectual boundaries and the “thrill” aspect of the movie is generic and predictable. The middle of the film seems drawn out and dull and somewhat overshadows the otherwise impressive performance by Kwanten.
Visually the film is impressive, first time director, writer and producer, Patrick Hughes has a knack with the camera that is rarely seen. He seems to instinctively know where to find the best shot and manipulates the images on screen to optimize the tension and suspense. Unfortunately a poor script and a story that on occasion verges on the ridiculous thwarts much of the movies good points and leaves it ultimately disappointing.