Red Hill (2010)

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A police officer from the big city transfers to a small backwater town in search of a stress-free life for his pregnant wife, not counting on the escape of a convicted killer with a grudge.

Red Hill is a modern western/revenge thriller hybrid from Australia. Shot like First Blood told from the perspective of the townspeople rather than John Rambo, the story will win no awards for originality but the no-nonsense approach and unusual Outback setting mark it out from the crowd. The fact that the escaped convict does not utter a word until the very end of the film sounds gimmicky, but it actually works quite well and gives the character an enigmatic charisma not unlike that of Rutger Hauer in The Hitcher. Ryan Kwanten also makes a watchable everyman hero and the build up is quite tense and effective. On the downside, the twist is a little obvious and its reveal rather clumsy – as is the clunky panther analogy – and the journey is rather better than the destination.

But as a whole it is a solid revenge thriller that entertains despite its flaws.

6.5/10

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