Thanksgiving has come and gone and I have sufficiently stuffed myself for an entire four days. Instead of jumping right into the Christmas-themed flicks, I think it best for my sanity to keep things in the realm of ordinary, non-holiday horror for a bit. The film I chose to help me do just that is Cameron Macgowan’s Red Letter Day.
Melanie and her two children are adjusting to their new lives in the quiet community of Aspen Ridge, when they receive letters in the mail that instruct them to either kill or be killed.
As it has become habit lately, I jumped into Red Letter Day without knowing a single thing about it. I was presented the opportunity to give the film a watch and share my thoughts, so I took it without any questions asked. I like being surprised, whether pleasantly or otherwise, by horror films, and fortunately for me, this one ended up being a rather good time.
Red Letter Day doesn’t take long to get into the nitty gritty of things; Within the first 60 seconds, we see a man running down the street, gathering mail from various mailboxes. In his frenzied state, he sprints right over some broken glass, slicing up the sole of his foot pretty badly. I knew right then and there that I was going to be impressed by at least what the special effects department had in store for me.
Luckily, that isn’t all that Red Letter Day has going for it. While the practical effects certainly do play a major role in this one, there is certainly much more to offer.
Red Letter Day features a small cast of talented performers, none of which I’ve ever seen before. It’s always fun watching a film that has some new faces because it allows me to avoid any preconceived notions I may have about a particular actor from past performances.
I enjoyed everyone’s take on their characters throughout the film’s 75 minutes, as Hailey Foss, Kaeleb Zain Gartner, and Dawn Van de Schoot all do a wonderful job playing our main group of protagonists. My favorite of the bunch is certainly Van de Schoot with her performance as Melanie, the protective mother who will do anything it takes to protect her two children.
While Red Letter Day may start off a tad slow, it does a great job of increasingly ramping up the tension. As this boring Canadian suburban housing community becomes more and more frantic with the threat of blood-thirsty neighbors, we too, as the audience, feel the increased risk our characters face. Picture a less-gritty and more sunshine-filled version of The Purge.
Would you be able to remain calm during a time like this, where your friendly neighbors may be out to kill you? Would you be able to protect yourself and your loved ones? These questions and more are answered to varying degrees throughout the film’s entirety, making for a fun horror flick along the way.
Red Letter Day at Home
This feature-length directorial debut from Cameron Macgowan is available now On Demand and Blu-ray from Dread and Epic Pictures.
The region-free home release contains English 5.1 surround sound and English stereo 2.0 audio tracks and English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
The Red Letter Day disc also contains bonus features including a making-of featurette, cast and crew interviews, audio commentary with the director, executive producer, and cinematographer, and more.
Red Letter Day is a good modern day horror flick with some comedic elements thrown in for good measure. It features impressive performances and even more impressive practical effects. Shattered limbs, crushed skulls, and split-open jaws all look gruesomely gorgeous throughout.
Be sure to grab a copy of Red Letter Day today, as I give this one 4 poo-namis out of 5.