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[Review] Red Moon (H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival): Celestial Phenomenon Sets Off a Night of Terror

If you subscribe to the notion that full moons can affect human behavior, just wait until you see what happens when the titular phenomenon occurs in eerie Canadian short film Red Moon (2019). The film, which won the Best Short award at this month’s H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, stretches beyond what are usually considered common tropes of the cosmic horror genre, as well beyond what a normal total lunar eclipse entails.

Ben (Michael Smith in a fine performance) tries to reach Dan (the voice of Gabriel Carter) on the phone to see if they are going to have to work on this particular night. Receiving no answer, he says goodbye to his wife Mel (Lisa Solberg) and drives to the work location. On the way, he hears a caller (the voice of John Mondelli) frantically and urgently talking on a radio broadcast — which comes in scrambled and garbled —  about not listening to voices. Ben soon finds himself wondering how seriously he should take the caller’s message.

Red Moon offers up a chilling scenario. The atmosphere of the short is effectively creepy, with Smith giving a fine performance as a man whose world has suddenly gone from normal to terrifying. Writer/director Thomas Chrétien has crafted a suspenseful short, bathed in red and steeped in paranoia. The “What if?” storyline offers elements inviting interpretation, as well. Although its running time is just slightly longer than four minutes, Red Moon sets up an entire frightening world.

Red Moon screened at H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, which ran in Portland, Oregon, from October 4–6.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5. He is a contributing writer for "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" print magazine and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, Ghastly Grinning, The Scariest Things, Horror Fuel, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Decades of Horror: The Classic Era" and "Uphill Both Ways" podcasts. Joseph has also written for “Scream” magazine, "Filmfax" magazine, “SQ Horror” magazine, and the websites That's Not Current an HorrorNews.net. He occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.
Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5. He is a contributing writer for "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" print magazine and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, Ghastly Grinning, The Scariest Things, Horror Fuel, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Decades of Horror: The Classic Era" and "Uphill Both Ways" podcasts. Joseph has also written for “Scream” magazine, "Filmfax" magazine, “SQ Horror” magazine, and the websites That's Not Current an HorrorNews.net. He occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.