Red Hill Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 27, 2011
You could be forgiven for thinking this is a Clint Eastwood style period set western and that's exactly what I thought it was upon seeing the poster design and film title, in fact its set in the present day and is more of a homage to westerns. Being set in the arid merciless Aussie outback of course does make it more of cowboy than cop thriller for sure.

The film is pretty unoriginal lets be honest about it, the layout and events are nothing new and do smell strongly of certain saddle bound Eastwood adventures but again..lets be honest here, its a damn good Aussie version of certain saddle bound Eastwood adventures. Beating around no bushes this is a strong violent retribution/revenge thriller that almost kinda boarders on 'The Terminator' in some building and street sequences with its light-less settings, strong shadows and mute anti hero killer.

From the start you know something is amiss with the local police force and their gruff leader 'Old Bill', you can kinda tell what will happen really but it doesn't detract from the fun of the film one bit. The cast are unknown to me but pretty big in Oz. Bisley as 'Old Bill' is perfect and really comes across well as the hardened no nonsense chief whilst Lewis is great as the mute aboriginal gunman who at first is intimidating, almost robotic like in his swift killings, but you know all is not as it seems.

The lead Kwanten does sort of over act towards the finale as he goes from being a regular guy to a strong stern voiced gunman brewing over with cliches but you feel the tenseness of the finale and you find yourself glued to the screen. Nothing really new to the table here but the whole film looks good and is well acted with a trusted source in the nasty revenge genre to always get the juices flowing, maybe some more nastiness to really bring home the need for revenge was needed though.

Highly recommended and much better fair than the usual over hyped glossy Hollywood guff that was 'No Country for Old Men', this is gritty and more down to earth with realistic characters. The Oz factor of course helps this hugely. Still not so sure what the panther subplot was all about though, why was it needed? oh well.
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2014
A triumph. Director, Patrick Hughes crafts a fiery directional debut with extraordinary landscapes, chilling story, explosive action and thrilling suspense. Hughes writes, edits, produces and crafts this fine and remarkable example of a modern western stripped to a morality tale. A terrific Australian film that's pumped up with great character development, well-executed action and mystery to make this a memorable and surprisingly effective revenge tale. A taut and first-rate thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final frame. An exhilarating and pulse-racing thrill-ride. A great cast of Australian talent that truly makes an impression. Ryan Kwanten gives a riveting and utterly compelling performance. Steve Bisley is excellent. Tom E. Lewis is a force of nature, he has all but six lines in the film but bring an intense and chilling presence to his character.
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2010
"Red Hill starts off quite slow, but picks up gradually. A town secret soon turns into their worse nightmare in this thriller. Unfortunately the newbie Shane Cooper gets caught in the crossfire.
Story isn't too bad. The acting is choppy, but I liked Ryan Kwanten. He was a really good strong lead. He carried the movie and made it watchable. It's not something I would watch again."
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2011
Watching far kinda intriguing. Totes an homage to oldschool westerns.
Super Reviewer
May 8, 2011
Missing a key element of sustained suspense.
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2010
Well shot and acted, with Western overtones, this is a dark effective tale of retribution.
Patrick Hughes's debut feature sets its sights on the big league. True Blood's Ryan Kwanten exchanges buckets of blood for a police badge as the new cop-on-the-block. With an armed criminal on the loose and out for revenge upon Kwanten's colleagues, Hughes proves to be at home with explosive gunplay. But he overshoots with all the strands weaved into an emotional finale, just as low-budget origins can occasionally hobble aspirations.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2011
A flat Australian western that has it's moments of cinematography but the plot and characters are disappointing.
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2011
Great Australian Film that as far as I know got little attention in the United States. A all around crime thriller, sure didn't want this one to end. A man is accused of a murder he didn't commit and escapes from prison only to get back at those that killed his wife and set him up. In Australian outback type location, Lots of on the edge suspense. This one clocked in at the right time and once again showed that most US films take a back seat to those made overseas. 4 1/2 stars
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2011
Standard revenge thriller. A wannabe western, it seems. Not bad, but not fantastic either.
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2010
In many ways you could say this is a lost revenge flick from the 70s. A very rewarding movie, rewarding because it plays the whole thing straight, no twists or any other bullshit gimmick. It doesn't need to be different, you don't re-shape the wheel, you just give it a few touches here and there. Is taking cliches and making them worth something again. Patrick Hughes has obviously done his homework, the man has the right sensibilities for the material. I'm glad there are still directors like him who value the power of images over redundant plots. Very much looking foward to more of his work.
Super Reviewer
½ December 13, 2010
What a great movie. Fair play to the Aussies, they make some cracking movies. Brilliant acting and the perfect setting, this movie will keep you rivited from start to finish.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2010
What begins as a promising modern day Australian Western ends laughably ridiculous.
Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2010
'Red Hill'. Tense, action-packed, decent story, and a great performance from Ryan Kwanten. Yet another piece of fantastic Aussie film making
Super Reviewer
October 17, 2010
At this time, Patrick Hughes' film resume may not look all that impressive, but Red Hill is a good film to add to it.This 95 minute production successfully crosses a number of genres. Ultimately, it is a crime thriller, but it also comes complete with the suspense of a horror and the action of a modern day western. The plot is straightforward and shallow in the early going, as it's mostly character and context setup. Eventually, a twist kicks in and more meat coats the plot.A good portion of the film is at night, and with the setting in a small country town there is a lot of room for suspense and even some scares. The action isn't extraordinary in anyway and there are no entertaining showdowns. There is just good clean pistol and shotgun shootings, with a few other special items included.Ryan Kwanten isn't exactly the overwhelming shoot 'em up champion of the film, but he does get the job done as the lead character. Despite only having a single line of dialogue, Tommy Lewis' portrayal of a prison escapee is also enjoyable.Red Hill will not blow up the screen in any way, shape, or form. It is just a film put together as a solid enough thriller.
Super Reviewer
November 25, 2013
Dear Red Hill. I like you. Fondest wishes, Gimly... Ahem, just thought I'd make my opinion pretty straight forward from the get go.

It's Australian, so points. It's got tonnes o' blood and night skies, so points. An Aboriginal with a half a face actually kills someone with a boomerang (there you go Luke, apparently it is possible!), so points. There's lots of fire, but no explosions, so points. The executive producer is Greg McLean (the kid behind Wolf Creek and Rogue) so points. Plus, it's entertaining!

And I mean come on, Steve Bisley's in the damn thing! (the guy who played Goose in Mad Max, as well as starring in Summer City, Newsfront, A Town Like Alice, Silver City, The Flying Doctors, Water Rats). Ryan Kwanten (The Knights of Badassdom, Griff the Invisible, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, Don't Fade Away, Dead Silence, Flicka, Water Rats, Spellbinder: The Dragon Lord, Tru Calling, Rake, True Blood) and Tom E. Lewis (above - The Proposition, Crocodile Dreaming, The Flying Doctors, The Naked Country, Robbery Under Arms, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith) make their presence known as the protagonist and antagonist respectively.

It's a little crazy, some sort of... Horror/Crime/Thriller/Western hybrid with a couple of comedic moments. Not that it's a comedy, or cheesy, just a bit funny once or twice... Like! There's this one bit where... Nah, better not ruin it. It's good though! Fuckin' watch it, alright?

The score's great, one of the better I've heard lately. Though some of the more extreme Western elements bothered me (like quick-draws, horseback cops and white cowboy hats, etc.) I was more than willing to forgive these, after all, we as Australians are not yet in a position in the film industry where we can afford not to pander to the Yanks.

First time Director Patrick Hughes certainly is somebody I'll be looking out for in the future, if this first effort is anything to go by. Red Hill is imaginative, clever, bold, no-nonsense and entirely watchable film that I'm more than happy to have in my collection. I wasn't blown away, it was no fresh new thing I'd never see coming, but Bisley's screen presence and the general non-stop awesomeness makes Red Hill it one of the better productions we Australians have unleashed onto the world.


Super Reviewer
September 14, 2011
Full Review Coming!
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2011
"Red Hill" has so much going for it and I loved it. Think of it as a modern day Western, revenge film in the outback of Australia. There are horses, a murderer straight out of "No Country For Old Men" (think Javier Bardem's sadistic performance but from a burnt faced indian), and even a panther! The film displays great quality, plenty of twists and turns, and the perfect casting for a film of this nature. I love westerns, and this one fits right in. I would definitely watch this again.
½ November 14, 2011
Red Hill could best be described as an Australian take on the American Western in a modern setting. This is a very well put together film. Cinematography, music, natural lighting, and acting are all of a very high calibre. Ryan Kwanten is particularly good as the young policeman with insecurities and fears of his own; Kwanten makes for a very likable lead while shaking off his boyou accent from True Blood and goes to his natural Aussie. Tommy Lewis is also highly memorable as Jimmy Conway, the silent escaped convict with grimly burned face making him look like the perfect villian. Steve Bisley is perfect as the old school town sheriff with his shot first and screw the questions attitude. It has to be said that the storyline is a little predictable. There isn't really anything overly new here. But this is not a significant problem as it really is a very well put together film. It's a solid thriller, and along with Wolf Creek, Undead, and The Square proves that the Australian film industry is more than capable of delivering superior product in this genre. An A+ if you're a fan of westerns and 70's crime/revenge cinema.
August 27, 2011
well I guess you could call this an Aussie western. Ryan Kwanten aka Jason Stackhouse of True Blood plays shane who literally just arrived the night before and will be constable at the local police station. He left the city life for his pregnant wife to keep her blood pressure down and he was also shot in the line of duty as well. His first day here may be his last, because of what his employers did in the past. Cool movie with a high death toll (& they deserve it) plenty going on. Don't know or care what Others think I say this gets an A being from when I first heard of it thought it was a horror movie but its not, it's a cool thriller without the big Hollywood B.S. behind it.
March 1, 2011
Officer Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanston) arrives in the small town of Red Hill with his pregnant wife looking to start a new life. The busy streets of the city caused the death of their first unborn baby, so a much quieter setting was needed for her. Shane also brings some baggage of his own from his stint as an officer elsewhere; something he shares with his new superior in Old Bill (Steve Bisley). But it seems everyone has secrets in this small town, which becomes readily available to Shane after a convicted murderer escapes from prison in methodical Jimmy Conway (Tom E. Lewis).

Director Patrick Hughes knows how to build suspense and it shows quite generously in the film. From the start of Red Hill, you know something isn't right in the town. Everyone seems to be really tense, holding onto a grudge early on. Ryan Kwanston carries his character along smoothly, giving us that "good cop" routine and doing everything by the book. While Steve Bisley plays his character with a hardened edge, demanding allegiance from the characters in the film. But, the actor that needs commending the most is Tom E. Lewis as his portrayal as a silent and deadly killer. His character moves along the screen taking victim after victim like a raptor. Lewis can give Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men) some steady competition. The only difference between the two is that Lewis' character doesn't speak throughout the film and you can notice a hint of pain in his eyes while he takes a life.

The film was centered in a Western-like atmosphere in the country of Australia, concentrating more on the streets of the town in the film. Hughes delivers a mighty impressive display of directing for being his first outing in cinema. From the get-go, you might be confused as to why everyone is so adamant and secretive about killing Conway on sight, but as the story unfolds you'll begin to understand the reason for silence. Red Hill is bloody good fun with some nice script work from the writers involved.
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