It’s the end of November. Soon it will be time to celebrate Christmas and the end of another year. But not just yet. This week, things are going to get a little spooky in Toronto with the 6th Annual Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival. Celebrating horror movies from across Canada, this year’s fest takes over the Royal Cinema from November 23rd to 26th for 4 days of scary movies. To get you ready for the event, we’ve got a handful of reviews for some of this year’s offerings. Kicking things off on opening night, the locally shot Red Spring has it’s world premiere.
Directed by the film’s star Jeff Sinasac, Red Spring takes place in a post apocalyptic Ontario, where all cities and towns have become overrun with vampires. Humans have become an endangered species. Ray, a man searching for his missing wife and child, has joined up with a small group of survivors who are looking for a safe place to stay. They meet a young stranger named Vicky (played by Elysia White) who has a place up north where they can find shelter to rest up and gather supplies. But how can someone be safe when the vampires are everywhere?
Red Sping relies on a number of tried and true horror tropes, setting them against the picturesque backdrop of rural Ontario. The idea of being overrun in a small enclosure, being stalked like prey, and the classic “divide and conquer” device are all used here to great effect. Instead of just relying on the vampires as the only threat, Sinasac ramps up tension by focusing on the location, environment and past relations with other travelers as disadvantages. At no point do the survivors feel safe, even in times of calm. There is always a new obstacle to overcome. This makes the risk of being a vampire’s lunch all the more present at each waking moment.
Sinasac takes a very interesting turn in the presentation of the vampires. The traditional elements of a creature that was once human and the need for blood to sustain itself is still there. That’s where the comparison to the vampires we’re used to ends. The vamps are more animal in tone, communicating with grunts and body language. They are many in number and travel in large packs. They maintain basic functions and understand how things work but show no signs of humanity. It’s almost as if these vampires are akin to “smart zombies”. The zombie film aesthetic is present as the vamps feel more like a force of nature than a conventional villain. This allows the focal point to be on our crew of survivors for the majority of the film.
The ensemble cast lead by Sinasac and White has good chemistry onscreen, with each filling in the archetypes necessary for this style of story. The dialogue may be a bit clunky at times but the cast more than makes up for it as they work well together and are easy to root for. The film’s modest budget is used to its full advantage with a number of realistic action sequences that round out an overall satisfying experience.
If you’re looking for a vampire movie with the intensity of a zombie film, look no further than Red Spring. The film screens this Thursday, November 23rd, at 9:30PM. Tickets are available HERE.
Keep checking back for more Blood In The Snow 2017 previews.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!