Movie Review: Red River Road (A Night of Horror International Film Festival)

November 22, 2021

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5. He is a contributing writer for "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" print magazine and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, Ghastly Grinning, The Scariest Things, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Decades of Horror: The Classic Era" and "Uphill Both Ways" podcasts. Joseph has also written for “Scream” magazine, "Filmfax" magazine, “SQ Horror” magazine, and the websites That's Not Current an HorrorNews.net. He occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Red River Road (2020) depicts a family becoming increasingly fractured as the effects of a lockdown because of an epidemic take their toll. This is no biologically spread epidemic, though, and the truth behind whether it really exists or not is also challenged, leading to dissension among family members. 

Red River Road was made entirely during COVID-19 lockdown by writer/director Paul Schuyler, with his family acting as cast and crew. Father Stephen (Schuyler), his wife Anna (Jade Schuyler), and their teenage sons Wyatt (Quinn Schuyler) and Sean (Shaw Schuyler) have moved from Boston to their rural summer home to avoid contact with other people as much as possible during the lockdown for an epidemic that is spread through online contact, and which makes people go insane before killing them. Random assortments of groceries and other necessities are delivered daily, apparently by a government agency, with requests taken over landline phones. People find it physically impossible to leave their immediate residence surroundings, and all communication with the outside world other than the supplies requests is cut off. The threats to the family come not from outside, but from each other as reality blurs with cabin fever and sanity begins slipping away. 

Red River Road is a slow burner, taking some time to get to its creepier, more threatening elements, with Paul Schuyler allowing plenty of time for viewers to get to know the family’s dynamics well before heading down darker paths, though it is obvious from the beginning that something is amiss. The Schuyler family members all give solid performances and the production value of the film is quite impressive, especially considering the circumstances under which Red River Road was created.

Red River Road screens as part of Australia’s A Night of Horror International Film Festival , which runs online from October 18–31, 2021. 

For more information on A Night of Horror International Film Festival, visit http://www.anightofhorror.com/.

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