Red Pill USA 2021
Paul Hsu, Katie Rosin, Doris Casap (executive), Gabriella Ludlow (executive), Stephen Hendel (executive), Michelle Etlin (executive), Barbara Hunter (executive), Kim Sykes (executive), Juney Smith (executive), Aquaila Barnes (executive), Myrna Cook (executive), Mellicent Dyane (executive) for One Race Media, Mother Films, Kampfire Films
With the 2020 American election only days away, a sextet of liberals of diverse ethnic background – Lily (Kathryn Erbe), Cassandra (Tonya Pinkins), Rocky (Rubén Blades), Emelia (Luba Mason), Nick (Jake O’Flaherty), and Bobby (Adesola A. Osakalumi) – travel deep into rural Virginia for a bit of partying at a rented house, and blissfully ignore all of the red flags, from the deeply racist sign by the side of the road to the noose in the barn, to the creepy uniforms of the local (white) women. Only Cassandra interprets all of this as tell-tale signs of an active white supremacy movement, but she’s labeled as alarmist and her pleas to turn back ignored. Then after a night of partying, Bobby disapppears – but maybe that’s just because he was roaringly drunk the previous night. Searching the area though shows no clue of him. What’s worse, the friends lose their car keys, find they have no cell reception, and thus are basically stuck here – and then they are attacked by locals with bow and arrow. The attack kills Rocky while the others manage to barricade themselves inside the house. The problem is though, the locals don’t relie just on bows and arrows but also have high tech weapons like sniper rifles with target lasers at their disposal. And it becomes more and more clear they have plans for our heroes more sinister than just killing them …
A very inspired blend of horror motives and socio-political commentary, and one that works, too, because it stays clear of just preaching to the converted but takes its horror aspects seriously and richly delivers when it comes to suspense and scares and cleverly weaves its theme – the threat of white supremacists – into its genre context. And a genre savvy directorial effort and a strong ensemble make this into one cool piece of genre cinema that’s as intelligent as it is effective.