SIMON BALL witnesses an out of body experience, as he looks at 2008’s Red Mist.
TITLE: Red Mist (aka Freakdog)
RELEASED: 8th November 2008
STARRING: Andrew Lee Potts (Kenneth), Arielle Kebbel (Catherine), Martin Compston (Sean), MyAnna Buring (Shelby)
WRITER: Spence Wright
DIRECTOR: Paddy Breathnach
Red Mist is one of those oddities of British cinema that are filmed in the UK (in this instance Northern Ireland) with a largely British cast, but set in the USA, presumably to appeal to a larger audience base while taking advantage of favourable tax breaks.
Primeval’s Andrew Lee Potts is Kenneth Chisholm, a self-harming loner working as a hospital janitor. He’s mad keen to get in with the cool kids at the medical college, but they just mock him and call him Freakdog (hence the US title). When Kenneth attempts to join the students partying at a local bar they spike his drink for a laugh, but the drug induces an epileptic fit that leaves him comatose and brain damaged.
The one student who feels any sort of pity for Kenneth is Catharine (Arielle Kebbel) who discovers a new experimental drug to stimulate the area of the brain responsible for out-of-body experiences. This is of course a very bad idea as it sets Kenneth’s mind off on an out-of-body killing spree, taking over the minds of unwilling volunteers to murder the gang who spiked that drink in a variety of unpleasant ways. Red Mist is essentially a re-imagining of Richard Franklin’s Patrick (1978) or Jack Gold’s The Medusa Touch (also 1978 – must have been a vintage year for out-of-body experiences?)
Directed by Paddy Breathnach (who was also responsible for Irish hallucinogenic shocker Shrooms), Red Mist delivers the odd decent scare and isn’t an altogether bad movie. However the sets do look rather too much like a British NHS hospital to be convincing as an American one, and the mostly British cast (which also includes Ripper Street‘s MyAnna Buring and Line of Duty‘s Martin Compston) do struggle a bit with their accents.
And the less said about the faux Goth running the disco the better.