Micaiah Castro, Sonja O'Hara, Tom Haney, Ryan Geiger
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Set in Sugar Grove, Kentucky in 1952, writer/director Ryan Geiger's Town Red is far more than you expect it to be and so subtle in its approach that its words and images stay with you long after the closing credits have rolled on by.
While the film is shot, and beautifully so by Josh Fisher and Olga Vazquez, , in full-on color, the film itself maintains such a consistent 50's vibe that leaves you wondering if Andy Griffith is going to show up (Yes, I know the Andy Griffith Show started in 1960). In the film, the town of Sugar Grove is experiencing something quite horrendous as an unexplained virus hits the town and starts making everyone mighty, mighty sick.
You know what I mean?
Town Red is part family drama, part Contagion, part zombie flick and constantly captivating. Patrick (Ryan Geiger) is a farmer and mechanic who has one of the virus-stricken boys trapped in his garage and aims to put him out of his misery with the help of friend and worker Jeffrey (Micaiah Castro). Unexpectedly, Neil (Michael Jefferson) stops in with a lot more of an agenda than it initially seems.
While the film doesn't quite offer the emotional resonance one might expect given pieces of the story, Town Red is also remarkably solid in its impact most likely because of Geiger's steady hand and a disciplined, tranquil approach that radiates in nearly every aspect of the film's production. David Gennaro's original score is exceptional in capturing both the haunting nature of the film and its laid back, easygoing vibe. It's a weird mix that works wonderfully. The performances are rock solid across the board and also, more importantly, consistent with the film's distinct tone.
Town Red feels like a film that wants to be longer and could easily be made as a feature film. The film's early scenes plant unforgettable images that companion the viewer through the rest of the film and leave you wondering about those side stories.
The recently completed film is just getting started on its festival run and should have no problem finding a home on the indie and horror fest circuits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic