Judge David Johnson thinks "red mist" sounds like a painful gastrointestinal condition.
Do not resuscitate.
A group of jerk medical students put a socially inept janitor in a coma and pay the price for it with their lives—like they should.
Facts of the Case
At Forthaven General Hospital, some hard-partying, wannabe doctors blow off steam with drinking and pill-popping and verbal abuse. When the hapless janitor shows up to try and hang out, he's berated and insulted. But when he shows video footage of one of the students illegally taking pills, the friends opt to get the guy drunk and stoned and, guess what, he ends up in a coma.
One of the students (Arielle Kebbel) is so stricken by guilt she slips the coma patient an experimental drug. One thing leads to another, and, thanks to a terrifying out-of-body situation, innocent people are getting possessed and systematically murdering each student responsible. Buckle up for a diagnosis that even Dr. House couldn't unravel.
Red Mist has some good things going for it. Enough to earn it a special distinction amongst the legion of horror movies that will buttress it on the shelf of your local video retailer or in the queue of your online renter of choice? Not so sure about that.
All the beats are hit and the kills are interesting and the whole gimmick of a coma guy possessing people isn't bad, but a crop of one-dimensional characters/cannon fodder and lackadaisical pace prevent Red Mist from accelerating.
The best part is definitely the Coma Killer angle. The medical students are absolute dickheads and the janitor kid is creepy but somewhat sentimental so when they get him plowed and bedridden, their comeuppance can't come soon enough. While the "possessed killer" thing isn't exactly unique, these guys pull it off well enough. The kills are creative—some poor dude gets a throat full of acid, another one is issued a vigorous stabbing—and the drooling, bloodshot deliverers of the mayhem are sufficiently, er, ambling. They amble a lot.
The weak link is probably Arielle Kebbel, who's saddled with the tired role of Concerned Girl Hero. Her character's not even that sympathetic. Sure, she frowns and glowers while her friends pump the janitor full of drugs and booze and spits out the occasional "Guys!" but she essentially just stands by while her prick friends nearly kill the kid. No matter how hard she tries to rectify the situation—by pumping even more drugs into him, by the way—I found it difficult to summon many feelings for her, and even less for the victims, which makes their deaths of little consequence. Then again, throat full of acid…
A fine release from Anchor Bay. Video quality (1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen) is strong and the 5.1 Dolby Digital surround mix is clean. Extras: a making-of featurette, an interview with Arielle Kebbel and some footage of the cast in Northern Ireland.
It's a slightly-above-mediocre horror excursion.
Eh. Not guilty, I suppose.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
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