Red Pill will have you shivering
Red Pill is a horror film that is a blend of The Handmaid’s Tale and Get Out centered on a Black woman who needs to know her friends a hell of a lot better. Tony Award-Winning Actress Tonya Pinkins’ wrote, directed, stars and produced this horror film that feels like I’m watching FOX News and when I turn off the channel it’s a new reality.
Red Pill is grounded in our current reality and I want to get out since it evokes very strong emotions. Cassandra (Tonya Pinkins) & Bobby (Adesola A. Osakalumi) go on a road trip with her friends on the eve of the presidential election. It’s a mix of old couple friends that include Rocky (Rubén Blades) & Emelia (Luba Mason) Nick (Jake O’Flaherty) & Lily (Kathryn Erbe) all of whom are the type of liberals who pat themselves on the back for having ONE Black (or ethnic or LGBTQ) friend that they sort of look down on.
She’s the canary in the coal mine pointing out the odd happenings, signs (literally a damn sign), and her friends dismiss everything she has to say about not feeling safe. It’s a movie that can make you feel uncomfortable navigating America as a Black person AND a woman so quite a few of the scenes made me feel like the first time seeing Roots (without the gentile slave owners). I don’t want to give anything away since it has quite a few unexpected twists that had me gue#ssing till the end. Watching Cassandra navigate her friends Whiteness or proximity and trying to explain to them that they are in danger was more terrifying that Jason coming out of the lake. Its especially telling when she tries to explain to her immigrant friends and didn’t grow up with USA racism but are still ‘White’ enough that they don’t deal with anything since they can ‘pass’. A few scenes reminded me of trying to tell people about microaggressions and being dismissed, told that I’m not understanding or ‘what did I do’.
This challenging and provocative horror film centered on a Black woman is a double whammy of when the worst happens. It’s a good film but difficult to watch since it’s a little too close to how easily we can slip backwards. I recommend watching and thinking about what Tonya is telling us about who we surround and trust. Afterwards watch videos of puppies and kittens!
“I wrote my own personal GET OUT,” says Pinkins, RED PILL’s is a dose of what’s coming to America if liberal White people don’t wake up.” ~Tonya Pinkins
SYNOPSIS: RED PILL follows six liberal friends who drive down to Virginia to rally democratic voters for the 2020 election; their dreams of getting the vote out are quickly slashed—death is their final ballot entry.
STARRING: Rubén Blades (Fear The Walking Dead), Catherine Curtain (Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things, Homeland), Kathryn Erbe (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Tonya Pinkins (Fear The Walking Dead, Madame Secretary), Colby Minifie (The Boys, Fear The Walking Dead), Luba Mason (Person Of Interest, NYPD Blue), Jake O’Flaherty (Criminal Minds, Shameless) and Adesola Osakalum (Sex & The City 2, Ice).
FILM PREMIERE: At the 2021 Pan African Film Festival in February
NOMINATIONS: The film is nominated for Best Narrative Feature at PAFF