The house decorated for Christmas, the advent calendar counting down and with a different festive jumper for every day, budding romance novelist Olivia Romo has little reason to feel seasonal cheer, living alone in the home near Lake Tahoe left to her out of obligation in her mother’s will, her successful sister already married with three children, and the only post another polite but firm rejection slip for Touched by a Vampire.
A knock on the door brings distraction, private investigator Julius King of the Severon Group, searching for three individuals whom he describes as “dangerous;” shown photographs, Olivia assures him she has seen none of them, but she is lying, for one of them, Luke, is concealed in her garage where she put him last night, having rescued what she thought was an injured bat.
Screened at FrightFest where it was introduced by writer/director Sean Nichols Lynch, the sometimes threadbare nature of Red Snow is all too apparent in the finished product, with insufficient time or money for second takes or reshoots, the coverage the bare necessities to convey the story with few flourishes and performances which are functional rather than nuanced.
This is a shame, as on the evidence presented given only minimal additional resources it is likely that Red Snow could have been exponentially better, allowing Dennice Cisneros and Nico Bellamy to come to (un)life as frustrated yet eager Olivia and uninvited guest Luke, less enthused about his captivity during his recovery than she is to be hosting a real dead vampire.
Instead, it is at best adequate, a Hallmark Christmas movie with an atypical bodycount, playing with the premise of Olivia shopping for men’s shirts, sweaters and the occasional pint of blood in return for insight and notes on her manuscript while paying lip service to Anne Rice, Stephenie Meyer and Nosferatu without establishing a sufficiently clear voice to set itself apart from anything more than Twilight fan fiction.
Trying on the guises of romance, comedy and horror without ever committing, Space Truckers‘ Vernon Wells shows up briefly to chew the scenery as Julius King but the more significant threat presented by Laura Kennon and Alan Silva as “bad vamps” Jackie and Brock is generic and obvious, Red Snow reading like a first draft, entirely linear and with undeniable potential but requiring complexity and depth to sparkle.