Synopsis: police constable, Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten, – True Blood, Home and Away) moves with his pregnant wife to Red Hill, a tiny town in the middle of the Australian outback. His first day at work doesn’t go quite to plan when Jimmy Conway (Tom E. Lewis) escapes from prison and comes back to town seeking revenge against, well, pretty much everyone. There’s also an extraneous panther.
What can I say? This was quite good fun as revenge thrillers go. Kwanten does a good enough job with a script that is somewhat lacking, and Steve Bisley is a baddie you can get on board with (there’s nothing worse than a lacklustre baddie, if you ask me). Lewis made it for me, though. Even though he only says about a dozen words in the whole 95 minutes, his cold-eyed stare and the unforgiving and relentless way in which he dispatches the locals, one-by-one, kept me watching.
It looks great – they did a good job of creating a town on its last legs, and made good use of the available Aussie scenery. Then there’s the soundtrack which was spot on. In fact, I think the music helped to lift this from the realms of the mediocre to the slighlty above mediocre. There’s one particular scene where Jimmy selects Stevie Wright’s Black Eyed Bruiser from the hotel jukebox before hunting out his next victim. It really helped build the tention, and this might be my new favourite song.
All that said, the plot has a generous helping of holes and ‘what the hell’ moments, there may as well be no female characters in it at all, for all they add and the whole crux of the plot is questionable to say the least.
Final thoughts: leave your brain at the door and don’t analyse it too closely you should still be able to enjoy it for what it is… a low budget revenge thriller that looks good but won’t change your life. If you don’t want to watch Red Hill, you can always just check out the bar scene 1 min 50 seconds in
Running time: 1 hr 35 mins
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tom E. Lewis