REVIEW: Paint the Town Red
– By Sooz Webb
Girls night! Woo hoo! Get the Bloody Marys in!
They say the best things in life are free, but when two single gals receive complimentary tickets to an exclusive hotspot in town, they find that the local nightlife sucks. Just not in the way they would have expected…
Sharing credit as co writers/directors, Bad Cookie duo Christopher Graham and Ariel Hansen grant us exclusive access beyond the velvet ropes, unfolding a tale of murder on the dance floor. Where the V in VIP stands for something slightly more supernatural and sinister than we first expect. Keeping an even pace that slowly builds momentum, we’re introduced to Josephine and Andie, and while the former is up for strutting her stuff, her best mate is wary, but gets lured in by the enthusiasm of her pal. However, her initial inclinations may be right. When the ladies approach the club, the bouncer audibly sniffs the pair, as if they’re a walking ready meal, and we sense that something is off instantly. But ominous feelings can be forgotten when drinks are free at the bar, and as the ladies shake their thing, the longing gaze of fellow revellers follow their every move. Sorry, did I say longing? I meant predatory.
At a brisk five minutes, Paint the Town Red keeps us uneasy, with it’s pounding techno rhythms, dark, claustrophobic setting and unnecessary notion that the clubs clientele has a specific dietary requirement that needs to be satiated. A feeling that becomes more of a reality, with teasing visuals and awkward confrontational moments. The film works as an allegory for the nights that spiral beyond our control, with Josephine ending up in more of a mess than she would have liked, and we’re left to wonder if she’ll ever live it down. Or live at all. But some scars are more permanent than incriminating pictures left on your Facebook wall.
Short, snappy and thoroughly engaging, Paint the Town Red is well acted, fantastically produced and leaves you with a sense of foreboding that’s not easy to shake. So next time your mates plan a big blow out, laugh it off and settle for a duvet day. That way you’ll be sure you can rest in peace.