Released to Netflix on February 11th, the Swedish thriller Red Dot has been creating quite a bit of buzz. Written by Alain Darborg, who was joined in the director role by Per Dickson, the film follows a young couple headed up for a romantic hiking trip up in the snowy mountains. This weekend soon turns into a horror filled, nightmarish situation.
For genre fans, the beginning of Red Dot seemingly fits into the “camping trip gone awry” trope that we have all seen time and time again. However, through layered storytelling, the film does not fall into that trap. The backstory of Nadja and Davis is not just spoon fed to the viewer, but precisely laid out and revealed throughout the film. Starring Nanna Blondell and Anastasios Soulis as the young couple having relationships issues, the audience first meet them in complete bliss as they are just getting engaged. However, it doesn’t take long before we see a very different relationship in subsequent scenes. The way Darborg and Dickson layout the plot plays an integral part to the climax and ending of the film. If the plot was revealed in real time sequence, this film may have been incredibly predictable.
Stellar acting performances by Blondell and Soulis, especially in the more intense scenes, help drive Red Dot’s story. This couple, looking for a weekend getaway to reconnect, ends up facing their baggage in a real and visceral way. Being stalked by a brutal sniper’s red dot, this film knows when to let the silence build the psychological tension and terror and when to the gut audience by stunning violence. That’s not always an easy balance for a film to strike.
Red Dot features many plot twists and turns, along with characters that the audience can connect with on a human level, thus amping up the anxiety. Just when you think you know the what is going to happen, you don’t. This well-acted and well thought out film is both scary and emotional on many levels. Bottom line, Red Dot is a hidden gem worth your time.