Signal Horizon

See Beyond

{Movie Review} Red Snow: Holiday Horror with Comedic Bite

If you’re tired of streaming Home Alone and A Christmas Story year after year and want something a little fresh and different, then Red Snow may be the movie for you. Unlike, say, Black Christmas or Silent Night, Deadly Night, Red Snow is a holiday horror movie with an appeal to non-genre fans. It’s bigger on the comedy than it is the scares, and it makes for an entertaining 90 minutes.

Written and directed by Sean Nichols Lynch, Red Snow stars Dennice Cisneros as Olivia Romo, a vampire-obsessed novelist who keeps a pair of fake fangs on her Christmas tree. Because her writing career isn’t going anywhere, she stays at Lake Tahoe over the holidays. There, she attempts to finish her latest novel.

Suddenly, Olivia’s fantastic world and focus on the undead becomes a reality. Things get strange when she finds a wounded bat outside her writer’s paradise. Bats shouldn’t be flying around in the winter. It turns out the bat is a real-life vampire, Luke, played by Nico Bellamy. After Olivia nurses the bat back to health by giving it a little water and keeping it in a box, she awakens the next morning to find a naked vamp in the garage.

Olivia keeps Luke alive by feeding him pig’s blood. He serves as her muse, reading her in-progress manuscript and giving advice about what it’s really like to be a bloodsucker. This film works so well because the chemistry and comedy between Cisneros and Bellamy feel pitch-perfect. Sure, the film’s premise is clever, but it takes the two leads to really pull it off. Luckily, they do.

Courtesy of 4Digital Media

To complicate matters, Luke is hunted by a Van Helsing-like group of vampire slayers who want him dead. Vernon Wells plays one of the hunters, Julius King, a cantankerous character who adds to the laughs. Meanwhile, Olivia’s life is threatened when Luke’s vampire pals start sniffing around for their missing friend. They realize he’s held in Olivia’s garage. Not all vampires are so nice and willing to offer writing advice.

Red Snow is a film that takes a lot of unexpected turns, and yet, the narrative never veers off course. It builds to a perfect ending that maintains the film’s comedic tone. Further, this isn’t your typical vampire movie. It makes fun of the genre while taking it to unexpected places, like depicting a vampire who offers line edits on a budding novelist’s manuscript.

There’s also something incredibly relatable about Olivia. She’s a sweet, likable character, even if she’s disconnected from her family because she spends so much time trying to get her novel published and isolates herself in a cabin, soon under siege by vamps.  She’s the type of character who you want to succeed. There’s simply something endearing about her, bolstered by Cisneros’ performance. As a writer, her drawers filled with rejection slips are relatable, too. What writer can’t relate to getting a notice in the mail, only to feel that tinge of disappointment?

Red Snow is a lot of fun, a film that makes vampires feel fresh and entertaining again. If you want to watch something different this holiday season, a perfect mix of comedy and horror, then give Red Snow a watch. It releases on digital and on-demand on December 28.