Shane Cooper is a law enforcement officer who has decided that it is time for him and his pregnant wife Alice to leave the city and settle in the small town of Red Hill. During his first day on the job at his new beat Shane quickly learns that Red Hill is hardly the small quiet community that he was hoping to escape to….and speaking of escapes…
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tom E. Lewis
“We’d be having a different conversation if you were dead.”
Patrick Hughes Red Hill starts by introducing the character of Shane Cooper and his pregnant wife Alice. The couple has just recently moved to the small community of Red Hill and still has yet to unpack; in fact Shane can’t even find his issued fire arm. Shane heads to his first day of work on foot and the viewer is instantly given an idea of just how small Red Hill is, seriously everyone walks or rides horse back to get where they are going.
Shane isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer at the beginning of the film, not only can he not find his gun he also has no idea where he is going, it’s a good thing Red Hill has a sign that explains where everything in the small town is so it is only a matter of time before Shane finds his way to the local police station.
Once Shane arrives at the station he finds that one of his fellow officers is sleeping and totally not aware of the television reporting that there has been an explosion. The officer informs Shane that he is supposed to meet up with his superior a hardened officer named Bill who is at the town hall.
Patrick Hughes introduces the character Bill at the town hall. Bill is angry about the state of affairs in Red Hill. Red Hill apparently was once a thriving small community yet all of the town’s revenue is being chased away and Bill is really not happy about this. After he delivers his speech Shane introduces himself and once again Bill shows his angry side when he notices that Shane does not have his issued fire arm.
Bill decides to get to know his new recruit and during this sequence the viewer learns Shane and Alice’s back story. Shane was shot in the line of duty by a kid who Shane couldn’t bring himself to take down this combined with the stress of living in the city caused Alice to miscarry her first pregnancy. Alice once again found herself with child so Shane and she decide to go to a small community so that they might be able to have a child and live a happy and normal life. After explaining his back story Bill sends Shane on his first job, to investigate a stampede of horses. This becomes a subplot all its own when Shane goes to investigate only to learn about a local legend of a black panther that supposedly hunts the grounds on the outskirts of Red Hill. The viewer might think that they are in store for a crypto themed movie at this point and it is only after Shane returns back to the station do they learn that the explosion mentioned earlier occurred at a local prison and a local criminal named Jimmy Conway has broke out of the prison and is possibly heading back to Red Hill to exact his revenge on the cop who put him behind bars….Bill.
Patrick Hughes Red Hill seems to want to jump around from story to story at the beginning of the film, and the subplot involving the panther in the woods seems to be put on the back burner until a good chunk of the film is through. Once the viewer learns about Conway’s escape that becomes the main focal point of the film as Bill becomes paranoid and starts to set up Red Hill for their local celebrities return.
The cast of Red Hill is top notch and all of them handle their roles quite well from Steve Bisley’s performance as the hard ass Bill to Tom E. Lewis’s portrayal of Jimmy Conway. Conway is the type of bad guy that viewers can root for from his first scene to his last. There is a great sequence in which Jimmy goes into the local watering hole where he knows someone is waiting for him; instead of immediately killing the man Jimmy lets the guy stay hidden as he plays a song on the jukebox which plays as Jimmy kills the man.
The effects in Red Hill are also very top notch with the exception of a CGI animal which only comes out for a few scenes so it doesn’t hurt the film too much, most of the film instead is dedicated to the destruction and terror brought onto the small town by Jimmy Conway. Patrick Hughes also throws a twist at the viewer during the final show down that reveals exactly why Jimmy wants revenge and the town of Red Hill may never be the same.
Red Hill is a great little import that should be checked out by those who enjoy their genre cinema soaked with blood and revenge!