Verano Rojo, A Latino Tribute To Horror Classic
Verano Rojo Film Details
English Title: Red Summer
Director: Carles Jofre
Writer: Carles Jofre
Release Date: 30 January 2017 (Spain)
Release Format: Cinemas
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running: 1 Hour 29 Min
Four young people come to Mallorca to enjoy idyllic summer holidays, but delving into the most inhospitable places on the island will begin a hellish journey.
Slasher, its narrative on survival against a heinous and at times unstoppable foe is a notable part of horror cinema. Yet, the overall story structure of these films has continued unchanged throughout the years. Although the narrative framework and the character types are standard, it is the backdrop setting that varies. It is this story material that proves crucial towards planning the antagonistic force. Both Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper successfully established a grim perspective based around a desolate desert setting. Screenwriter Alan B. McElroy, meanwhile penned a disturbing perspective that focused on a remote woodland expanse. Each creator shares a common thread within each of their known works, including a cannibalistic homicidal clan as the adversary.
Using more that one opponent may open the door for more violent kills and artistic gore. Filmmaker Carles Jofre pays reverence to Craven and Hopper with his release, Verano Rojo (English translation; Red Summer). Set against a desert backdrop Jofre presents audiences with displays of carnage involving unsuspecting travelers and a group of sadistic adversaries.
We first covered Verano Rojo from project inception, its crowdfunding campaign in September 2015 and trailer first look in April 2016. The film is a Latino-based production and DecayMag supports the progress of the Latino community in this ever-changing film genre. We find it imperative to expand the spotlight on diversity within Horror cinema.
Related Article Teaser Trailer First Impression
Related Article: Verano Rojo Seeks Funding
While Verano Rojo delivers familiarity for seasoned Horror film audiences yet, Carles Jofre in this, his feature film debut offers sufficient material to set the film apart. To start, the overall composition including the performances have significant professional excellence. From the filming techniques to the editing floor, Verano Rojo delivers itself as a memorable slasher film. The high point emerges with Jofre’s capture of each action intensive and emotional gripping scene. He adopted, to his creative scope, different angles to communicate each intense moment.
For example, with the bathroom incident seen in ACT I, Jofre showed audiences with an intimate expression of a sexual deviant at play. The film establishes another level of excellence in ACT III and portrays a scenario involving a nerve-racking escape attempt from the captor’s lair.
The principal flaw of Verano Rojo lies within the character treatment and development. To elaborate, the slate of tourists turned victims were so spineless it defied logic. It is obviously a stage between the tourists and their adversaries are principal. Yet, absent courage and common sense become unpleasant to watch. How did this conflict set-up and cowardice remain in the script? The question is perplexing. It would be fantastic to have a grasp of realism with characters in slasher films, more so with Latinos. An alternative, more logical idea would be in permitting the tourists to turn the tables on the lone assailant. In retribution, the savage clan would go in pursuit and the grim events.
Despite the character arc or the lack thereof, the acting was of strong standards. The viewers will enjoy the depictions of fear, angst, and compassion. The villains had enough substance to make them both enjoyable and comical. With the latter, it would have been favorable to have a less generic approach and more sadistic conveyance in Horror.
Verano Rojo pays homage to classic survival horror films with much success Yet, this approach stretches further that this film almost parallels released works. Jofre may not have an original delivery with his final product but there is enough context to make this Latino driven production feel contemporary. Verano Rojo makes for a great entertaining candidate in Horror cinema.
Verano Rojo with its introductory trailer and poster art gives alludes to a ninety-minute gore-fest. However, this is not the case. This film feels timid and enclosed within its shell of violent content. This film deserved more blood, gore and sadism added to the mix. Doing so would have Verano Rojo reignite both the genre and the theme. There is a considerable subject to appreciate with Jofre’s imagination whether it is the tribute to nefarious cannibal clan villains or the cinematography.
With its pros and cons, I look forward to any follow-up sequels that may be in the works for Verano Rojo.