The COVID Pandemic and subsequent shutdown played havoc with peoples’ lives. The shutdown interfered with the functioning of governments around the globe, and much worse, it isolated people who suffered from mental illness or domestic violence. The shutdown was a necessary evil. We needed to save lives. But…what if a pandemic wasn’t biological? Red River Road is the perfect horror film for Halloween.
Red River Road
The history of this film is just as amazing as the film itself. Director and filmmaker, Paul Schuyler, was preparing to direct a film version of the play, The Tuna Goddess, when the first COVID lockdown happened. He, his wife Jade, and sons Quinn and Shaw were forced to stay home, just like the rest of humanity around the world. Paul Schuyler decided to make lemonade with the lemons he was assigned. The entire film was filmed at his home and his family became the cast and crew.
Red River Road, which was released by Gravitas Ventures on digital on October 4, begins with a family dealing with a shutdown that is brought on by a virus connected to technology. People are confined to their homes. They are forbidden to use their cell phones or the internet. Food and DVDs are delivered to them every day in a green box bearing a barcode.
Why the precaution? Well… the virus, spreading via social media, is making people crazy. They lose the ability to tell the difference between reality and hallucinations…as we witness mostly through Anna’s (Jade Schuyler) day to day existence. While Anna’s husband, Stephen (Paul Schuyler) and their teenage sons, Wyatt (Quinn Schuyler) and Shaw (Sean Schuyler) seem to be handling the isolation as best as they can, Anna is falling apart.
Anna tries to pass the day away working in her garden, but even the attempt to cross the street brings on an extreme panic attack…or is it something much more sinister that prevents the family from straying past the defined borders surrounding their home? The situation really revs up when the family suspect that one or all of them have been infected.
I had to keep reminding myself that the entire filming and editing was done by the Schuyler family members. Red River Road was no third-rate horror film, but a top-of-the-line production created during a worldwide shutdown. And because the family was actually under a real shutdown for this film, the exasperation coming across through the film, was real. We have all lived through this mandatory isolation. It sucked! We were cut off from family and friends. We had to work from home. Just to go food shopping we practically had to wear something resembling a hazmat suit.
I really enjoyed Red River Road. It brought back some painful memories, but it also kept me on the edge of my seat starting with the disappearance of the family dog. This film will have you questioning what is real and what is illusion in your own life. Do we really know what is real when we have powerful evil men blasting lies and conspiracy theories all over the news and social media?