Complete A-Z list

Red Hill


Stars: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tom E. Lewis, Claire van der Boom

Director: Patrick Hughes

Depending on your genre preferences, Australian producer-writer-editor-director Hughes has made either (a) a gritty and exciting police thriller or (b) a gritty and exciting Western. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Either way you look at it, Hughes’ feature film debut – amazingly shot in only four days – is a terrific revenge thriller packed with action, suspense and surprises, and great value for money.

Policeman Kwanten (best known for TV’s True Blood) has transferred to the Outback from crime-ridden urban Australia in order to give his pregnant wife (van der Boom) a less stressful time. When Kwanten clocks in for his first day of duty he realises he has appeared to have ended up in a one-horse town where the appearance of the said animal might well spook the locals.

But first impressions are dangerous. Violent disfigured Aboriginal killer Lewis (remembered from The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith) breaks out of prison and returns to Red Hill with bloody vengeance on his mind - and Kwanten’s initiation to Red Hill turns out to be a nightmare day to remember…

Kwanten is effectively troubled, and Bisley makes a good impression as his superior, while Hughes uses fine location cinematography which proves that genre clichés can be made to work remarkably well and come up bright, shining and thrilling - and, at times, unexpectedly horrific.

Alan Frank

Australia 2010. UK Distributor: Momentum. Colour.
97 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 11 May 2011