Alfred Hitchcock spelled out the difference between mystery and suspense films when he said, "Mystery is mystifying; it is an intellectual thing. Suspense is an emotional thing." Who would argue with the Master of Suspense?
By Hitchcock's definition, Red Road, a wild variation on his Rear Window, set in lower-depths Glasgow, is a hybrid: a mystery shot through with suspense. Often gripping, sometimes wearying, it winds a slender thread of feeling through ominous showdowns and alienating Scottish cityscapes. But if you follow that thread to the end, it's surprisingly moving and intellectually satisfying.
Red Road (Tartan) Starring Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press, Andrew Armour. Directed by Andrea Arnold. Unrated. Time 113 minutes.