Red Hood IT, Impressive Action, Horror Crossover
Red Hood IT Film Details
Writer: Andrew Hansen, Hisonni Johnson
Release Date: 10 April 2018 (USA)
Release Format: YouTube
Genre: Short, Action
Running Time: 16min
Red Hood IT follows the nocturnal activities of the brutal vigilante as he investigates a string of child disappearances.
Fan Films have expanded in popularity on streaming platforms YouTube and Vimeo. These are independent self-funded productions based on comic book and/or video game franchises. With the advances and availability in video editing/video effects software the quality of these short films often rival Hollywood models. These productions are an excellent channel to extend a tribute to favorite fictional characters, rile up a fan base and showcase talents.
Red Hood IT is the latest entry in the fan film arena and it crossed Stephen King’s IT with the DC Universe. The protagonist/anti-hero is Red Hood, alias Jason Todd, alias Robin. For those unfamiliar with DC Comics and/or the Red Hood storyline, the recap to this vigilante’s storyline is; The Joker murders Robin/Jason Todd, Ra’s al Ghul resurrects Robin/Jason Todd, and the multi-colored spandex gets traded in for a Red mask. This story is not offered or a part of the intended creative direction for Red Hood IT.
Are you a Horror connoisseur and not acquainted with the villain shapeshifter, Pennywise? Have not read and/or seen Stephen King’s IT? That should be considered misdemeanor offenses. Director Andy Muschietti’s film and re-imagination developed into a colossal success last year. Before that, IT was the television mini-series that aired in 1990.
How did a Maine dwelling demon travel to Gotham City? We’re unsure, but let’s instead, delve into this unique visual narrative.
Fan films have either one of two dimensions in terms of production value. The presentation either lacks effort or the film deliver outstanding results. Red Hood IT falls on the later for many reasons. Considerable strengths have to do with the expert level in cinematography and art direction. I always found that constantly moving camerawork emphasizes the landscape and/or subject more so than a static camera.
One area I found appealing in Red Hood IT was the way Directors Hisonni Johnson and Alberto Triana accented dialogues with curved tracking movement. Alternating shots during the close-quarter firefight scene elevated the action aspect of the film. These camera angles didn’t feel as if it were tossed in at wonton. Each movement had a purpose with telling a story, a creative form. In fact, Red Hood IT interprets comic books aesthetics to the small screen with impression and success.
The plot wasn’t the strong point of Red Hood IT. There were many questions remained unanswered. For instance, how did Red Hood get satellite radio on his helmet? How does smoking not affect his cardio? Focusing on a deep-rooted storyline doesn’t hold a priority for much fan films on the market. Strengths are reserved for the technicalities of film production and execution. Johnson and Triana follow the ever-growing line of filmmakers creating fan films as an outlet to display impressive visuals.
This dynamic duo took trademark characters and gave them a distinctive view and mood. Audiences unfamiliar with Red Hood and Nightwing would remain oblivious to these characters even after watching Red Hood IT. Instead, viewers will become wowed with tough-guy bravado and action sequences throughout the film’s sixteen (16) minute running time.
Red Hood IT begins with a brief trailer overdosed with After Effects graphics. Whatever the preference in video graphics program, the final result is jaw-dropping. I don’t support digital eye-candy in action films or Horror films for that matter. On this occasion, these computer-generated effects compliment the production. The opening credits serve as a dramatic montage and present anticipation for the surviving minutes of the film.
Actor Noel Schefflin captures the spotlight for his portrayal of Jason Todd/Red Hood. Schefflin does not engage and/or collapse into the common trappings of a gruff action hero character. This is both a pro and a con. Red Hood, possesses a somber backstory and interpreting the character in this fashion would transform the dynamic of the film. Providing a youthful, borderline comedic value to this role entertains and caters to a broader audience. Schefflin brings a hip interpretation to the vigilante role. Yet, somehow this persona draws to mind a particular hockey mask-wearing superhero, turtle power!
The supporting cast featured in Red Hood IT displayed admirable skill. From the disposable henchmen to the frightened young girl each appeared convincing to their part. Actor Jeremy Boone portrays a creepy Pennywise. Yet, Nathan Ferrier’s translation of The Joker didn’t have adequate screen time to properly examine his acting skill.
Red Hood IT is a visual delight, it kicks ass as a film to comic book adaptation. That is if Pennywise were part of the DC Comic universe. Putting Stephen King’s demonic formulation into an otherwise crime drama world did not join well. Either time or creative direction, this component lacks strength. Yet, as a fan film, as an action-oriented short both storylines communicate well. If Red Hood IT is a one time only presentation, shame on the production team. If this is the start of a series, count me in as a regular viewer. Directors Andrew Hansen and Hisonni Johnson create visual artwork with Red Hood IT.