Ida Red

Written by Alexander Reams

37/100

There are countless “A boy and his mother” stories throughout Hollywood’s history. From Psycho to The Babadook to Moonlight, these films helped define and redefine this iconic trope, and now a new one wants to join the ranks of these iconic films. John Swab’s Ida Red is focused on the titular character’s son, who, along with his family, tries to get Ida out before her terminal illness kills her. While this premise might seem promising, let me assure you, don’t be fooled like I was. 

This isn’t writer/director John Swab’s first time behind the camera, his past works garnering anywhere between somewhat positive and downright horrendous reviews. Here he’s assembled his most stacked cast, Frank Grillo (Dallas Walker), Melissa Leo (Ida “Red” Walker), Josh Hartnett (Wyatt Walker), Deborah Ann Woll (Jeanie Walker), William Forsythe (Lawrence Twilley), Beau Knapp (Jay), and Mark Boone Junior (Benson Drummond). This stacked cast can be a big draw for people, myself included. Unfortunately, I let this blind me from the clear red flags. Any filmmaker that manages to score 0% on rotten tomatoes is one to avoid, and that was the case here.

Logic is a key factor in telling a story, and even in the competently-made opening scene, there are logical errors, an edit that shows a character in a car when we just saw them get out of the car. This in particular stuck out and actively frustrated me. When logical problems arise in the film, that could’ve so easily been avoided, it becomes very confusing as to why the director did not recognize these issues, and why they did not stop them from occurring. The storylines presented are always overlapping, with the main thread being Dallas and Wyatt Walker. Grillo and Hartnett do serviceable jobs with what little they were given. A fault that does fall on Writer/Director John Swab. Although such can be the case when one of your previous films scored a lovely 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ida Red Trailer

Ida Red is currently available to rent from most major VOD platforms.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

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