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Parents' Guide to

The Dark Red

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Tense psychological thriller has violent horror elements.

Movie NR 2020 101 minutes
The Dark Red Poster Image

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Though the framing device of psychological interviews with an unreliable narrator is a tried and tested formula, The Dark Red admirably holds your attention. Director Dan Bush adds his own finesse to create a slightly off-kilter feel to scenes, where memories can appear uncanny and red herrings toy with the narrative flow. Billingsly -- presented with the clichéd long cardigan and unkempt hair of every onscreen psychiatric patient -- makes the role her own and is both compelling and believable despite the seemingly outlandish story she spins.

It is a revenge story at heart, but that revenge is never taken further than necessary -- the violence is bloody, yet never gratuitous. The movie unravels in the tradition of a mystery as much as a thriller or horror. It is not entirely unpredictable, but summons a tense and, at times, frightening atmosphere that will see it chime with teenagers and adults who enjoy a dark, twisted tale.

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