THRILLER; 1hr 36min
STARRING: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tom E. Lewis
Bad day at the office: Kwanten
So much for easing into a job. When industrious Constable Shane Cooper (True Blood ’s Kwanten) reports for his first day at high-country Victoria’s Red Hill police station, he has no idea of the mess that is set to embroil him. Most days, Red Hill is an archetypal sleepy blip on the map. Not today, though: Aboriginal tracker David “Jimmy” Conway (Lewis) has escaped from a regional maximum-security prison and since he’s a killer with a grudge against the local lawmen, everyone is up in arms. New guy Cooper is assigned by his nails-tough boss (Bisley) to stand guard over a back road that nobody believes Conway will take. But as bad luck would soon enough have it, Cooper finds himself staring into the fugitive’s malevolent eyes.
Played out over one day and night, Red Hill combines the enthralling aura of an implacable western with the chill-thrills of Halloween-variety horror. Writer-director-producer-editor Patrick Hughes works thematic wonders in a tightly contained time frame whose redemptive and terrible culmination is both unexpected and absolutely on the money.