‘Paint the Town Red’ (2017) Horror Short Review

After reviewing Bad Cookie Pictures’ disturbing body horror short Ready to Burst, I couldn’t wait to see what else filmmakers Ariel Hansen and Christopher Graham had in store for us horror fans. So when I checked my email to see a brand new short by them called Paint the Town Red, I knew I was in for a treat. What kind of horror was I going to experience with this film? With a name like Paint the Town Red, it could be anything!

The official synopsis:

After receiving a mysterious pair of tickets in the mail Andie and Josephine arrive at the hottest new club in town, but not everything is as it seems.

The twisted masterminds behind Bad Cookie Pictures are Ariel Hansen (The Man In the Rabbit Mask 2017) and Christopher Andrew Graham (Ready to Burst 2016), a couple who shy away from nothing when it comes to creating films. The couple teamed up to co-direct and co-write Paint the Town Red. Ariel even starred in the short as ticketholder Josephine, alongside The Man in the Rabbit Mask co-star Allison Klause. Two of the people involved in Ready to Burst added their acting talents to the short: Gigi Saul Guerrero (ABCs of Death 2.5 2016), and Colin Basnett (producer of Ready to Burst). Also involved in this 5 minute long film were producer Selena Raskin (Demon X TV series), cinematographer/editor Jordan Barnes-Crouse (Red Snare 2016) and assistant director/editor Ben Gaumond (The Man in the Rabbit Mask 2017).

What Works

Paint the Town Red is perfectly paced and edited. There are no wasted shots. There is also no clue as to what the horror will be until it’s thrown in your face, which I loved. While the special effects could have been over the top and ridiculous, Ariel and Christopher went for a “less in more” approach and they pulled it off with fantastic results. By keeping everyone generally human looking, it made everything Andie saw seem almost dismissable, like it could be a trick of the light or just her imagination. Everything, that is, until the very last scene. The doorman sniffing her was unsettling to say the least, but something I could totally picture happening at some skeevy, underground club. Of course, he wasn’t just sniffing her perfume.

What Doesn’t Work

The only bits about the short that I thought could have been better were set-related. The club could have been more packed with people to give the short a claustrophobic, panic-inducing feel, especially after the big reveal. While I liked that I could hear the two women plainly over the music in Club Hobbs, I thought it would have been more realistic to at least imply that it was so loud, they could barely hear each other. These are tiny things to mention, and, compared to the film as a whole, they’re barely even worth a thought to this reviewer.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed Paint the Town Red quite a bit. Although I didn’t love it as much as Ready to Burst, it may just be that I couldn’t relate as well to two club hopping single ladies as I could to a pregnant woman. I suggest you check it out when it becomes available in 2018. As a matter of fact, you should watch both of these Bad Cookie Pictures’ shorts. they both packed a huge punch into a small time frame, which is exactly what I look for when watching horror of any kind.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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