Red Hill

Year: 2010
Production Co: Hughes House Film
Director: Patrick Hughes
Producer: Patrick Hughes
Writer: Patrick Hughes
Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Claire van der Boom, Kevin Harrington

We don't often equate Australia with Westerns even though it's as perfectly suited to the genre as the US is with our wide open spaces and harsh frontiers.

As such the tale of the rookie cop starting work in a small town starts out as a thriller, but by the time you get to the posse of cops advancing down the rainswept roads of the abandoned town brandishing rifles you know what territory you're in.

New cop Shane (Kwanten) meets the fearsome, no nonsense chief Bill (Bisley) and his colleagues and as luck would have it, an aboriginal serial killer breaks out of a nearby prison. Bill knows Jimmy will come gunning for the cops in town (your first clue to the twist), so he saddles up his crew as well as several trigger-happy townsfolk and prepares to batten down the hatches.

The second clue to the twist is that Jimmy is aboriginal, and in our politically sensitive times the racial minority is almost never the real bad guy. It's just a trick to play upon our primal fears of people not like us and throw us off the scent (but which has been done so much it's beyond cliché).

By the time everything plays out you'll know the whole story, and the whole thing is very predictable even though it's an effective and entertaining film.

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