When an independent filmmaker cannot control certain things, such as good special effects (those can cost a pretty penny), it is best to rely on the things that can be controlled. To that end, creativity and imagination are an artist’s greatest assets. Crafting something genuinely original or in a unique way will allow one’s output to stand out from the crowd. Enter the comedic horror-thriller Red Snow. Sean Nichols Lynch’s sophomore effort reimagines the vampire mythos into something a bit more realistic and a whole lot cooler… or does it?
Struggling novelist Olivia (Dennice Cisneros) is spending the holiday season at her deceased mother’s Lake Tahoe cabin. She’s attempting to do another draft of her latest manuscript, which is about a vampire and a human lady’s romantic entanglements in Romania. But then, someone knocks at the door.
Olivia opens it and meets Severon Investigator Julius King (Vernon Wells), who is very coy about just who he’s looking for. Eventually, she figures out he’s a vampire hunter, looking for some vampires in the area. After getting him to leave, Olivia goes into the garage, where she’s nursing Luke (Nico Bellamy) back to health. The thing is, Luke is a vampire. Now, she must throw Julius off the scent, figure out if Luke can be trusted, and finish writing her book.
Red Snow has fun with a lot of the expected tropes of a story revolving around bloodsuckers. As a way of thanking Olivia for her help, Luke gives her insight into what being undead is actually like. Generally speaking, vampires aren’t haunted by their past, nor do they care much about their former human lives. Romania is boring, as vampires prefer exciting, bustling places like Las Vegas. Also, silly, outdated names don’t work when trying to blend in.
“…she must throw Julius off the scent, figure out if Luke can be trusted, and finish writing her book.”
The back and forth between Olivia and Luke during these get-to-know-you scenes are great fun. Cisneros and Bellamy share good chemistry, which helps sell why she’d help him, and vice versa. Then when things get more heavy and intense, roughly halfway through, the actors also sell the more horrific elements well.
As for Vernon Wells, his role isn’t too large, but he is energetic and engaging, clearly relishing the chance to play such an offbeat character. The rest of the cast of Red Snow is also fun, with Laura Kennon as an evil vampire really standing out.
Unfortunately, Lynch’s screenplay isn’t quite as clever as it thinks it is. The narrative trajectory holds only a few engaging twists (Simon rules!), meaning viewers are a step or two ahead of the plot. Plus, the film never manages to ever get scary, so those looking for a strong horror outing will be disappointed. But, because the characters are so fun to be around and the ending is perfect, these are minor issues overall.
Red Snow is a lot of fun. The two leads are well written and excellently performed. The jabs at traditional vampire lore prove to be most amusing. While it never becomes creepy, the film still is an absolute blast from beginning to end.
"…an absolute blast from beginning to end."