Red Snow (2021) poster

Red Snow (2021)


USA. 2021.


Director/Screenplay – Sean Nichols Lynch, Producer – Alrik Bursell, Photography – Gavin V. Murphy, Music – Timothy Lynch, Makeup Effects – Melanie Leandro, Production Design – Sara Alix & Melanie Leandro. Production Company – 26th Ave Films/Bursell Productions/Evolve Media.


Dennice Cisneros (Olivia Romo), Nico Bellamy (Luke), Vernon Wells (Julius King), Laura Kennon (Jackie), Alan Silva (Brock), Edward Ewell (Simon)


Olivia Romo is an aspiring romance novelist who has only been accruing rejections for her vampire love story. She is relaxing alone for Christmas at her late mother’s home in Lake Tahoe when a bat smacks into the window. She takes the wounded bat and tends it, placing it in a box in the garage. She is startled when she returns later to find that the bat has transformed into a vampire Luke. She brings him some pig blood to help him recuperate. The vampire hunter Julius King comes to the house, searching for Luke and his two companions but Olivia says nothing. Luke warns her that Julius and The Severon Group he belongs to have wiped out many mythical creatures including all but a few remaining vampires. Olivia develops a trust with Luke as he begins giving her tips on how to improve her vampire romance. Meanwhile however, Luke’s two comrades and Julius lurk around the area.

Red Snow was the second film for Sean Nichols Lynch, who had previously made the non-genre Prep School (2013) and assorted short films.

Red Snow comes with a great premise – “vampire romance novelist encounters a real vampire.” Your mind immediately thinks of Stephenie Meyer and the whole fad for Young Adult romantic vampires we had a few years ago with Twilight (2008) and sequels. There is undeniable appeal to the idea of a Meyer-modelled character or one of the legions of teenage girls weaned on the Twilight films abruptly encountering a Christopher Lee or a Bela Lugosi-styled vampire. Or for that matter, the idea of seeing someone with romantic notions of vampires encountering one of the more modern kitchen sink variety of vampires. In premise at least, Red Snow could be construed as a Martin (1976) for the Twilight-era vampire.

Only Sean Nichols Lynch goes and blows all the possibilities. What he ends up making is just a standard Vampire Film but one that lacks the necessary awareness of the genre to deflate the material in the way the film announces it is going to be. Dennice Cisneros is not someone whose fanciful notions about vampires need to be punctured; she’s not even someone caught up in the fantasy of a romance novel – she’s just someone who has written a romance book about a vampire, which is all presented without any ironic quote marks.

Dennice Cisneros plans some vampire hunting in Red Snow (2021)
Romance writer Dennice Cisneros plans some vampire hunting

Nor is Nico Bellamy’s Luke someone who punctures the romantic idea about vampires Dennice has built in her head – at most he reads her manuscript and gives her a few pointers about what the characters should do (not even any about the reality of vampires). In other words, his being a vampire is largely irrelevant and he is no more than a beta reader she has imprisoned in her garage. Indeed, he is made into a pretty boy and for a time it feels as though Red Snow is going to be the very same vampire romance that it announces it is going to parody.

Missing all its opportunities, Red Snow merely circles around the relationship between Dennice Cisneros and Nico Bellamy. This is okay but you kept wishing more tension and interplay had been created between them, or even that it had been pushed over into being the romance that the film clearly wants to do. To keep its drama going, the film has to create peripheral characters such as Vernon Wells’ vampire hunter and the rest of Nico’s vampire brood who turn up to menace Dennice in the last half. Here the film far less interestingly plays out between who is telling the truth, before a difficult to believe turning of the tables.

Trailer here

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