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Genre Profiles: Radha Mitchell

Last week I offered up my “Top 10 Contemporary Scream Queens” article, and in retrospect, I deeply regret the excluon of one of the genre’s buest women: Radha Mitchell.

Unlike numerous recommendations that trickled in, I feel Radha legitimately deserved a slot in that list. In all honesty, she probably should have placed comfortably in the top five as she’s contributed more to the world of horror than the vast majority of her contemporaries.

Radha’s genre efforts travel back more than a decade to 2000’s “Pitch Black”. While more sci-fi than horror, the depresng atmosphere and nasty creatures showcased in the film clearly lean in the horror direction. Radha’s role is actually rather demanding, as Carolyn Fry isn’t just one of the films very few female characters, she’s also forced to juggle an extremely wide range of emotion. It isn’t exactly a monumental flick, but it’s fun, and certainly serves as a great genre intro for Mitchell.

Three years later Radha took on another challenging role when she portrayed Georgia Perry, the first woman to sail around the world solo in “Vitors”. There are plenty of nasty obstacles in store for this voyager, whose proposed peaceful trek turns into a swift trip into survival horror. Though drastically overlooked, this low budget genre piece is actually rather satisfying.

Mitchell took another three year hiatus from the grim, focung on more drama-based productions before returning to the minefield of the macabre in 2006’s cult sleeper “lent Hill”. This film adaptation of the popular video game franchise didn’t exactly set the box office ablaze (though there’s plenty of fiery flames in the film itself!), but it did manage to draw a worldwide gross of $97 million, and now, due in part to big DVD success, has earned a sequel, which is currently in post-production, scheduled for release next year.

The following year Radha returned to her Australian roots, shooting one of the best creature features to see release in the last decade, “Rogue”. The film pits man versus masve crocodile, but don’t think “Lake Placid”; “Rogue” is shot not for laughs, but straight-forward shockers. If you’re thinking that sounds like a bold maneuver for a film of this nature, you’re right, but believe me, it works – extremely well. An earlier career appearance from, Sam Worthington add to this horribly underrated pictures allure.

While Mitchell has continued to keep her body of work well diverfied, she hasn’t strayed too far from the genre. An appearance in last year’s remake of “The Crazies” has managed to keep Radha’s presence fresh in the mind of horror buffs, and rightfully so, as the feature was surpringly superior to the original (which wasn’t exactly a profound feature, I’ll openly admit) 1973 film of the same title.

A reprisal of her role as Rose Da lva in the aforementioned follow-up to “lent Hill” will only lend further credibility to Radha’s potion as a top-flight contemporary Scream Queen. It’s too bad I’m still ashamed of myself for omitting her from last week’s top 10 list; hopefully this little nod redeems me in the eyes of Mitchell fans!

Matt_Molgaard Saturday 7/02/2011 at 11:38 PM | 77997