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Red is a 2008 American thriller film based on a novel by Jack Ketchum and directed by Trygve Allister Diesen and Lucky McKee. It concerns one man's revenge after his beloved dog dies in an attempted robbery.[2] The screenplay was written by Stephen Susco based on the novel. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.

Red (Day Of Man's Best Friend)
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTrygve Allister Diesen
Lucky McKee
Produced bySteve Blair
Trygve Allister Diesen
Norman Dreyfuss
Screenplay byStephen Susco
Based onRed by Jack Ketchum
StarringBrian Cox
Tom Sizemore
Music bySøren Hyldgaard
CinematographyHarald Gunnar Paalgard
Edited byJon Endre Mørk
Billy Goat Pictures
Distributed byMagnolia Pictures
Release date
  • January 20, 2008 (2008-01-20) (Sundance)
  • August 8, 2008 (2008-08-08) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$10,731[1]



Avery "Ave" Ludlow has a dog named Red, a gift from his late wife, Mary, for his 50th birthday. One day, he is fishing at a lake with Red by his side when three boys come across his path: the brothers Danny and Harold McCormack, and their friend Pete Doust. Danny intimidates Ave with a shotgun and tells him to give them all his money. When Avery tells them that he has only $30, Danny becomes furious and kills Red.

Ave visits a local gun store, where the clerk is able to identify Danny based on the shotgun he used. Ave meets Danny's father, Michael McCormack, and in the family study, tells his story. Michael calls his sons into the study, and asks them if they shot Red. They deny the incident, and Michael tells Ave to leave.

Ave decides to file a lawsuit and talks to his lawyer, Sam Berry. Sam discourages him by saying that the case will not do any good, but Ave persists. Sam arranges a meeting between Ave and a reporter named Carrie. Carrie tells him that if they take the story to the media, it would be helpful for their cause. Ave agrees and gives a television interview to Carrie for a human-interest piece. However, the story fails to get much attention, and Carrie's boss orders her on to another story.

Carrie asks Ave about his family; he tells her that his eldest son was a habitual liar, and was thrown out of the Navy on the basis of mental illness. One day, the son came back home and asked his mother, Mary, for money. She denied the request, and he beat her up. Thinking he had killed her, he then set fire to his younger brother and Mary with kerosene. The younger brother was burned to death, but Mary survived for five days in a coma before dying.

Ave begins to follow the boys. Harold, who sees Ave watching them and becomes remorseful for their actions, approaches Ave and apologizes for what happened, and Ave says that he would like Danny to do the same. One day, Danny is playing baseball with his friends and becomes frustrated after striking out, leaving the game in anger. Ave follows him and parks behind Danny's car. Danny confronts him and tries to hit Ave with his bat. Ave avoids the blow, striking Danny to the ground; Ave points out that, as Danny attacked in broad daylight and in open view of witnesses, it would be advisable to watch his temper in the future, saying the beating he has given him is one that his father should have given to him, instead. In response, Ave's store is burned to ashes. Ave goes to his lawyer and is disappointed to hear no evidence indicates the McCormacks are responsible.

Ave digs up Red and takes his corpse to the McCormacks' house, confronting the family with Red's decaying body. Michael and Danny both brandish pistols, with the father demanding Ave leave with Red's body. Ave refuses, at which Danny becomes furious, stepping forward and aiming to shoot Ave. Ave deflects Danny's arm as he fires, and the shot hits Ave on his ear. Ave wrestles Danny's gun from him, throws him to the ground, and holds him hostage. Telling Michael to lower his gun, Ave forces Danny to drive to the town sheriff, where he intends to have Danny charged with attempted manslaughter. Michael comes after Ave and rams his truck off the road. Leaving, the McCormacks return home, thinking Ave is dead. Night falls, during which Ave regains consciousness and sees an Australian Cattle Dog that shows him Danny's discarded revolver, left in the wreckage. He takes the revolver and returns to the McCormack house, finding a shaken Harold smoking on the porch. Harold leads Ave to where Red's body was dumped. Michael, Danny, and Pete follow and find both of them. Both Michael and Danny are armed; Harold tells them to stand down, but Danny shoots Ave in the belly with the shotgun. Ave returns fire, shooting at Danny and Michael, wounding them. As they fall, father and son fire shots and in the crossfire, both Harold and Pete are fatally shot. Ave approaches the injured Danny and Michael, telling the father that either he or his son is responsible for Harold's death.

As he heals from his wounds, Ave reads a newspaper in which his story has been published by Carrie. Carrie comes to meet him and gives him a new dog. Ave initially declines to accept it, also reminding her that two boys were killed because he wanted revenge; she leaves him alone with the new dog. Despite his protests, Ave soon becomes content with him.


Awards and nominationsEdit

Brian Cox won for Best Actor at the Sitges Film Festival. Red was also nominated for Best Film (Trygve Allister Diesen, Lucky McKee).


On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 70% based on 27 reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "This vengeance film leans heavily on attack-and-avenge scenarios but performances by Brian Cox and Tom Sizemore take the stink out of any weaker scripting."[3] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Red". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (2008-08-08). "Red". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Rotten Tomatoes
  4. ^

External linksEdit