RED HANDED **** USA 2019 Dir: Frank Peluso. 92 mins
From the growing house of High Octane Productions and introducing a large and star-studded cast comes a story of occult and ritualistic sacrifice that fuses both ancient biblical mythology with the modern angst and dark betrayal of families with some amazing photography and camera work by Forest Snyder and some wonderful singing by Caroline Vreeland that is skilfully interwoven with a haunting musical score by 1982Paris. The end result is a very powerful and tragic tale of Luciferian cults and killers that demonstrates the frightening magic of ancient belief and the dark spells that it casts upon human minds.
The movie will evoke all of your emotional spectrum as you become involved with the murderous intentions of the Cult of the Children of Moloch (The Malevolent) whose odious followers are determined to awaken it by any means at their disposal, but usually with their lure of the stunning Rachael who is portrayed superbly by Caroline Vreeland whose singing fits the film like a glove being at once angelic and evil. If there is any difference?
These questions and much more will keep you addicted to what is a multi-layered and well acted piece of historical fantasy horror as you are led on the trail of untold answers in a very murky and secretive world.
The casting of the great Michael Madsen right at the start got me hooked to the film’s dark attractions and then the addition and productive prowess of Michael Biehn (a.k.a. Kyle Reese in The Terminator (1984) no less!) added so much to my great enjoyment of what is a really good independent movie that any of you Satanists and Occultists out there will devour like pure blood. Even the director Frank Peluso’s son gets a starring role as the keen-minded little Louie who Lou’s (Michael Madsen) sons Pete, Duffy and Gus have to try and save from the Cult’s evil clutches. All three sons go out with their families and modern lifestyles into the vast, hidden and dark country environment of America near the Sassafras River which the simple and honest locals wrongly believe to be the cause of a series of horrific child abductions.
Red Handed will test the limits of your sanity (madness?) and your rational mind in it’s very haunting portrayal of evil and ancient demonic ritual and strange beliefs whose power remains as strong now as it was in times of yore. Symbology is one of the keys here to a superb story that is neither about good or bad with no real heroes or villains and it will immerse all of your senses. I even chuckled to myself at the little old man towards the end who was a dead ringer for the old caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining!
When you try this, and you should, you will discover a very deeply moving, spooky and disturbing film that will show you that our demons never die and it is only their victims who perish.
No good or bad, light or dark, only what we ourselves create.
Review by Nathan Sandiford