Red Hill

2010

Red Hill

Critics Consensus

Though its attempts to rework genre conventions may fall flat with some, Red Hill is a beautifully shot, tightly paced thriller that marks a strong debut for director Patrick Hughes.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 67

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,189
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Movie Info

Young police officer Shane Cooper relocates to the small country town of Red Hill with his pregnant wife Alice to start a family. But when news of a prison break sends the local law enforcement officers - led by the town's ruling presence, Old Bill - into a panic, Shane's first day on duty rapidly turns into a nightmare. Enter Jimmy Conway, a convicted murderer serving life behind bars, who has returned to the isolated outpost seeking revenge. Now caught in the middle of what will become a terrifying and bloody confrontation, Shane will be forced to take the law into his own hands if he is to survive. A taut thriller which unfolds over the course of a single day and night, and told with explosive action and chilling violence, Red Hill is a modern-day western played out against the extraordinary landscapes of high-country Australia. -- (C) Strand Releasing

Cast

Ryan Kwanten
as Shane Cooper
Steve Bisley
as Old Bill
Tom E. Lewis
as Jimmy Conway
Claire van der Boom
as Alice Cooper

Critic Reviews for Red Hill

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (53) | Rotten (14)

  • The movie is extremely well staged and the young hero's dramatic lineage is established by his resonant name - Shane Cooper.

    Jun 14, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • The film just about transcends its abundant clichés. It's Coen Brothers lite but made with some panache.

    May 13, 2011 | Rating: 3/5
  • What an effective calling card for debut writer-director Patrick Hughes this is - if not for the Australian tourist board.

    May 12, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • As short on originality and sustained tension as it is long on striking widescreen vistas and impressive technical smarts.

    Jan 3, 2011 | Full Review…

    Derek Elley

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Rehashing the cliches from several beaten-to-death movie categories doesn't add up to much.

    Dec 31, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Red Hill is another heartening sign that the new generation of young local filmmakers have genre audiences clearly in their sights.

    Nov 24, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Red Hill

  • Jan 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.
    Al S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2013
    I swear this is a revenge horror film disguised as a western, man! Proudly R-rated, <i>Red Hill</i> is an atmospheric Australian western that turns the tables upside down halfway through, changing its genre and making you hide behind your seat. Hell, even Tom E. Lewis as the "villain" Jimmy Conway could have been an iconic horror figure if this film had been released in the 80s. Moreover, this film would be immediately labeled as "horror" if there were only knives and chainsaws instead of guns. So that's how thin the line is between a genre and another, huh? Unfortunately, acting is average and screenwriting is very poor, with very clichéd moments and with an almost nonexistent connection between the protagonist Shane Cooper and his family. That topic is barely treated, so his family serves as a background of an excuse. Still, with a pack of beers, a bunch of friends and a stormy night, this should provide great entertainment. I hope this kind of efforts keeps appearing because: a) the Aussie industry has talent (especially in the cult horror department) and b) we simply need more westerns! Keep trying. 56/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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. 76% -Gimly
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2012
    Strong debut effort from new director Patrick Hughes that was appropriately atmospherically shot, perfect pacing, solid acting, simple but grabbing, shattering revenge story and enough action and suspense to satisfy anyone. This gem of a find effectively blends the elements of a brutal thriller with the roughness and rawness of a lean and mean western with a sprinkle of a revenge/slasher flick that's much appreciated here as it's all too rare to see a cool little flick like this make it work so easily as this one. The villain in this is pretty grotesque looking but at the same time bad ass and very clever but kind of reminds me of Maniac Cop meets the quiet menacing vibe of Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men as he doesn't waste any time getting down and dirty but the more you get to know his backstory the more human he becomes. The director is really a talent to look out for as he films the raw nature of Australia like a champ and made the viewing experience quite memorable and has a skillful restraint but goes for it like a bat out of hell when it's time to get to business especially during the more tense and suspenseful scenes. It's a shame that this film didn't have a wide theatrical release as it clearly has enough meat to gain peoples attention and has a talented cast a crew and decent production value and definitely deserves more admiration and notice than what it got. Overall when the final showdown takes place it was satisfying and bittersweet but could of been more powerful but as a whole it has to be one the best modern western I've seen and one entertaining, thrilling one at that and I recommend it if you like westerns but not straight up and if you like a good old fashioned revenge flick as you will most likely dig this. See it! 7.9 out of 10
    Matt S Super Reviewer

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