A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores themes of revenge and retribution.
Positive Role Models
Lead female character is strong and independent, almost always taking the initiative in the fight for survival. The two lead characters, one of whom a person of color, find that someone has vandalized their car with a racial slur.
Violence & Scariness
Characters shot and killed with rifles. Child killed in a hit-and-run accident. Characters shot at by an unknown assailant as they see nothing in the dark except the assailant's red laser pointer. Character strikes another with a rock to the head, killing them. A missing dog is found in a tent, its head severed. A man holds a rifle to another man and orders him to drill the midsection of his pregnant wife, is unable to do so. Character shot with a flare, set on fire. Character gets their forearm caught in a bear trap. Constant peril, characters shown in extreme trauma. Character hit in head with a rifle butt. Character shot in leg. Near-drowning after falling through thin ice.
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Constant profanity. "F--k" often used. Also: "c--ts," "s--t," "damn," "hell." A racial slur. Character makes a pun on the word "syphilis."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Champagne drinking. Drinking in a bar, no drunkenness. Whiskey drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Red Dot is a 2021 horror-thriller in which a married couple on a camping trip find themselves pursued by an unknown assailant with a rifle. Expect violence throughout, as characters are shot and killed with rifles, a child is killed in a hit-and-run accident, and a character is killed by a rock to the head. A character is shot with a flare and set on fire. In one of the more disturbing scenes, the couple return to their tent to find their dog's severed head. A character's forearm gets caught in a bear trap. Near drowning in an icy lake when the thin ice breaks. Constant peril and trauma. There's also constant profanity, including "f--k" often used. The two lead characters, one of whom a person of color, find that someone has vandalized their car with a racial slur. In Swedish, with English subtitles. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This uneven thriller could have been great, but too many issues keep it from reaching that potential. Intense action paired with plot twists that grow increasingly absurd. That's Red Dot, a Swedish horror-thriller that plays with the tried-and-true "city folk go into the country where they are pursued by homicidal countryfolk" storyline to meditate on themes of revenge and retribution. Although, "meditate" may be too tranquil of a word, as the young Stockholm married couple, David and Nadja, endure endless trauma, near-death, and torture once that titular red dot makes its first appearance. The acting is clearly a case of A+ for the effort of enduring these many traumas, even if the journey to get to these aforementioned themes of violence and retribution become a little too convenient, shoehorned, and illogical.
To its credit, these plot twists do extricate the movie from the usual boilerplate tropes of "psycho rednecks" wreaking havoc on the proverbial "city slickers." Once the action gets started, it doesn't let up, and the movie does strike a nice balance between the action and the development of David and Nadja's characters, their relationships, and how their actions may or may not have precipitated this descent into a life-or-death struggle in the Swedish hinterlands. It's just that the biggest plot twists ultimately feel unsatisfying and not fully explained. These "third act problems" prevent Red Dot from being a great movie, instead of a good one. As the movie plays with expectations, and on the audience's feelings as to who should be getting their comeuppance at the end, the story increasingly feels like the last 20 minutes in particular are forced into fitting into a theme of Old Testament justice, but the answers provided seem nihilistic. Also, it's not as if the main themes of the movie haven't been explored so many times before.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.