It Stains the Sands Red follows a woman (Brittany Allen) who is stranded in the desert with a solitary zombie in tow. With dwindling resources and a faltering mind and body, she must find a way to survive the elements, while staying ahead of her straggling predator.
It Stains the Sands Red Review
This movie was touted as a "different kind of zombie movie". I had my doubts, because I've heard that before, and with every new iteration it's generally proven that it's just like every other zombie movie. It's becoming harder and harder to be original in the sub genre, to the point that filmmakers have embraced the niche tropes and chosen the route of satire. At this point, it's easier to be funny than scary with zombies.
And on that spectrum of humor and horror, Sands falls right in the middle. The film magically finds a balance of humor, horror and drama, seamlessly transitioning between all three throughout. Sometimes we're feeling for our protagonist's predicament, while in others we're clinging onto her survival or laughing at her antics. The balance is superbly delivered and one of the strengths of the film.
As far as the spectrum of originality, the film is also sitting pretty in the middle. It's still a zombie movie at its core, it just focuses on a single zombie rather than the horde concept. That's not new. The evolution of the relationship between the zombie and our protagonist rarely breaks new ground either. But the piece as a whole and the storytelling itself is unique in such a way that you feel like you are watching something entirely original.
The final act is a bit of a head-tilter. It's pertinent to the main character, but out of place with the entirety of the film. I don't latch on to the final act of the film the way I should. Partly because the primary plot is greatly abandoned in favor of driving home a subplot. It's not that I'm not interested, it's just out of context with the rest of the film. We're invested, but we're confused why the path went that way. It left me wondering what the point of most of the first hour was and why our zombie friend was there to begin with.
Brittany Allen does a great job in a role that she has to practically solely carry on her own. It's Castaway with a zombie instead of Wilson and a post-apocalyptic landscape instead of an island. It works. And she does a great job.
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 5/10