Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's in the Blood (2012)

Directed by Scooter Downey

Is it possible to create a successful horror film both original in content and its mood solely embedded in drama? The answer is a resounding "yes" and the proof is in 2012's It's in the Blood

Med student October (Sean Elliott) returns home after many years to reunite with his father Russell, played by veteran actor Lance Henriksen. It is obvious from the get-go that the two have endured a tumultuous relationship for some time, since October seems unenthusiastic about seeing his father again after all this time and due to the fact that Russell continuously inquires why he has not ever returned any of his phone calls. 

The two attempt to establish a renewed bond on a hunting trip deep in the woods, but a bigger void quickly expands between them when Russell challenges October's manhood and refusal to bury the troubles of their past. Shortly afterward, Russell is frightened by some transparent figure which causes him to fall off a nearby cliff and severely damage his leg. With Russell unable to walk and both of them under attack from this invisible menace, October builds a barrier around them. But this fortitude is only temporary as the phantom endlessly tries to destroy them. Essentially, they are trapped and attempt to escape by surviving with the minor defenses at their disposal

Russell's health begins to deteriorate as the two start to discuss what happened in the past that caused this seemingly unrepairable rift between them throughout the remainder of the film, all seen in rigid flashbacks. Not only did it damage October's relationship with his father, but it also damaged his psyche and made him into a shell of the person he used to be. Detailing the horrors of their history would essentially ruin the entire film and your viewing enjoyment in the process, so what can be said is that it is both shocking and will really pull at your heartstrings.

Fear not moviegoers. While this film is more an exercise in drama than horror, this is not another version of Terms of Endearment staged in the wilderness. Your craving for fear and action will be satisfied in the horrifying final act. After the slow burn, which contains some strong emotional turns by both Elliott and Henriksen, you will be treated to amazing special effects and one "wow" of an ending. 

The conclusion itself will really force you to use your noggin a bit, but once you paste everything together, you will be pleased that you hung around to indulge a thought-provoking, deep and original film. Filmmaker Scooter Downey deploys a large amount of colorful symbolism that enhances his fantastic direction of the final product. He completely develops the small amount of characters that appear on-screen and is also able to produce some truly tear-jerking moments as the film wraps up.    

It's in the Blood is the prime example of why you should never depend on IMDB scores to dictate whether you should watch a film or not. The low rating on there currently for this movie is an absolute travesty considering the satisfaction you will receive from watching pure art on celluloid while not being a self-indulgent and pretentious art house flick. If you keep in mind that this film is not an all-out horrorfest and more of a just an overall movie of substance, you will be able to enjoy this little known gem.

4 out of 5 Creeper Santas




Planet of Terror said...

Fantastic review Geof. I'm glad you liked it. I posted a podcast on Mon. where I interviewed Scooter, Sean and the legendary Mr. Lance Henriksen. Give it a spin. Really entertaining listen and Lance is hysterical.

Chuck said...

I like Lance so I may have to see this...thanks Geoff.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Good title too. Henrikson does a lot of scholck, but he always gives it everything he has.

Post a Comment