A legend was born almost twenty years ago when an angry farmer went on a killer rampage leaving a devastating trail of blood and carnage. In the present day a group of friends set out on a fun camping trip to the infamous Redwood murder site for a weekend of partying. But when they start to disappear one by one the campers are thrust into a bloody battle for survival when history begins to repeat itself.
The Redwood Massacre is a slasher film from David Ryan Keith delivered in similar style to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th with an added Scottish twist. Where both movies spawned iconic villains in Leatherface and Jason Vorhees, The Redwood Massacre introduces audiences to the Angry Farmer. Sure, the name doesn’t inspire fear but with his burlap scarecrow mask and sharpened axe the farmer is without doubt an unstoppable force of nature that will give Leatherface or Jason a run for their money.
Right off the bat it is clear that The Redwood Massacre is shot incredibly well by Keith himself. Using light, shadows and employing smooth camera work the cinematography of the film really elevates it over other low-budget horror films.There is a lot to say about how the film looks and when the carnage begins blood goes flying and it looks bloody amazing on screen.
The cast is made up of relatively unknown actors and each character reflects a staple of the average slasher film cast. The cast as an ensemble do a relatively good job in their roles but considering the fact that the script delivers the bare minimum from the cast without giving them anything much in terms of having something to chew on, the end result is a collection of standard performances where the cast are instantly forgettable once their numbers are up.
As for the rest of the film, I also found the pacing somewhat problematic. It takes a while to set up the story and takes far too long to get to the action. When things pick up there is certainly enough to keep audiences happy but I would have preferred to have seen a little more attempt to create tension as this film lacks any. The chase scenes are kept to a bare minimum and are very basic at best. If only the filmmakers were just a little bit more creative here the film would be so much better.
Sadly The Redwood Massacre is not scary whatsoever. By placing focus on visuals the film lacks any ability to evoke an emotional response other than disgust which is a real shame. I feel the film could have benefited from having more thrilling chase scenes. Not only would it have added more tension but it would have given David Ryan Keith more opportunities to show off his stunning cinematography skills which in all honesty feel wasted here.
Words: Jon Dickinson (@marvelguy)