Spoilers follow ...
- The Redwood Massacre review by NP
This is a low budget, Scottish slasher film about a group of friends who commemorate the anniversary of The Redwood Massacre by camping in the woods around the spot in which the murders took place. The massacre occurred because a farmer, hearing voices from his sinister scarecrow no less, lost his mind and killed his entire family. The son’s body, however, was never found … and now a creepy character in a scarecrow mask is going round killing the otherwise sensible party-goers.
I enjoyed this. Some of the acting is a little flat, much in the way of low budget productions, but the characters are all fairly likeable. Jessica (Rebecca Wilkie) sporting a mighty pair of painted-on eyebrows; Mark (Adam Coutts), her ex-boyfriend, now dating the wonderful complaining Kirsty (Lisa Livingstone); and finally Pamela (Lisa Cameron), the sensible one, spared from dullness by probably the best performance of all. The locations, mainly barns and forests in and around Aberdeen, are absolutely gorgeous - endless lush foliage it is easy to imagine getting lost in. Redwood House is also impressive, a true haunted looking house in the middle of the woods. Ironically, Clear Focus Productions had always specialised in Health and Safety training films before this project, which involved 200 pints of fake blood.
I love that appealing Pamela and sardonic Kirsty are forced by circumstances to forge a kind of bond. These character moments are so important for these kind of horror films – often the makers are in such a hurry to get from one killing to the next, any pretence at making the players anything more than cyphers is forgotten. And yes, there are plenty of killings here!
The arrival of a vengeful father of one of the victims is odd. He makes several impassioned speeches and is then killed whilst offering no resistance, leaving Pamela to push her way through the mass of strung-up corpses in her bid to escape. Some further explanation regarding the killer would be welcome. “Whatever that thing is,” seems more than human, yet not impervious to bullets and violence – is it the son slaughtered by the farmer? If so, why should he be so keen to continue his father’s murderous spree?
Ending after a series of twists, this is nevertheless a very impressive directing/writing project from David Ryan Keith who has rightfully won a series of awards. His following film is ‘Ghosts of Darkness’, featuring some of the same cast, which will hopefully be released sometime in 2017.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.