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When it comes to horror comedies, you have to find humor in the macabre. How do you take a monster that is supposed to arouse fear and present it as funny? In the case of Red snow, written and directed by Sean Nichols Lynch, you go from charismatic actors to a playful tribute. Because in the heart of Red snowof laughter and intense moments, the film is a great love letter to the vampire fandom who perfectly knows how to mock and pay homage to the sub-genre.

Olivier (Denis Cisneros) is a struggling novelist who lives alone. When not having an argument on the phone with her sister, Olivia enjoys sipping wine and enjoying her advent calendar. And oh yes, she loves vampires. She’s currently working on a vampire story, and from the big vampire short story book she reads, to the set of plastic fangs on her Christmas tree, to her Nosferatu t-shirt – she’s a real fan. Representations of vampire-obsessed fans have been common in the media since that of duskthe dominance of pop culture; but while many of these representations tend to be demeaning, Red snow offers a positive angle. Olivia is not defined by her love for vampires – she is not a note; his appreciation of the monster archetype is testament to his passion for storytelling and creative writing.

Olivia’s life takes an interesting turn when one day a bat flies in her house; checking said bat, she sees that she is injured and takes her inside to heal. When she hears a loud noise later where the bat is resting, she checks it out, only to find that the bat is now a naked adult male with fangs. The vampire introduces himself as Luke (Nico Bellamy) and says he is in a weakened state due to a stroke. Once he’s rested and has had a chance to drink blood – pig’s blood, that is, acquired by Olivia – Luke finds himself confronted by her. She is in love with his existence and wants to ask a hundred questions. As the two spend time together, they will have to deal with a vampire hunter looking for Luke, as well as a few violent vampires who linger in Olivia’s house.

The relationship between Olivia and Luke is at the heart of the film; the chemistry between its intrigue and its charm allows multiple moments of laughter out loud. The conscious and ironic presentation is perfect; you never feel like the characters are trying to wink at you. On the contrary, the comedy is both surreal and natural. One example is Olivia’s fascination with Luke: although it’s a bit strange how thrilled she is to meet him – to the point that she feels comfortable asking him questions almost right away – she always takes safety precautions. Throughout the writing and performance of Cisneros, there is a surreal element to Olivia’s interactions, but they are also believable. The characters do not hesitate to name several great properties of vampires and authors known to have written such stories; this might sound out of date in many cases, but how they are used in Red snow made for fun comedic moments.

While much of the movie plays out like a comedy with playful horror drops, there is a dramatic twist later that offers a big twist. This change not only lends a nice punch to the narrative – playing into the already solid rhythm – it also lends greater depth to Olivia’s story. And while Olivia and Luke can have most of the spotlight on them, vampire hunter Julius King (Vernon well) and the vampires Jackie (Laura Kennon) and Brock (Alain silva) all bring a unique charm to the film.

Too much self-awareness and trying to forcefully hammer out jokes can kill the mood of a comedy; when it comes to horror comedies, it can make the experience tasteless at worst. For Red snow yet everything is a delight. It’s great to see how the film displays such admiration for the vampire subgenre; never being mean in his jokes, the writing goes far enough to poke fun at tropes in a playful way, but also pays homage to monster myth and pop culture. With the looming self-awareness that Red snow kiss, it’s great to see all the actors for the ride. Everyone brings a great performance, and the film’s efficient comedy and action pace makes Red snow a cheerful (and bloody) holiday horror comedy.

Red Snow is now available on all VOD points of sale.

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