Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A review of "Blood Runs Cold"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Blood Runs Cold”

By: Brian Cotnoir

     This film is a sloppy, confusing mess.  That’s the best way I can think to describe it.  It’s not even a bad movie to be honest with you, but it definitely holds itself back from being a much better movie than it deserves, and what the audience deserves.                                                 
“Blood Runs Cold” was a Swedish film released in 2011 by Stockholm Syndrome Film Company.  It was made on a budget of just $5,000 dollars, and tells the story of a girl named Winona who decides she needs a get away from her life.  Her manager books her a quaint house in the woods near her old hometown.  Upon her arrival, she decides to take a break and heads to the World’s Worst Dive Bar in town, where she runs into her ex-boyfriend, Richard.  Over the course of a few hours (and drinks) Winona and Richard rekindle their romance, and Winona invites Richard—along with his friend Carl and Carl’s girlfriend Liz—to stay the night at her house and party.  Unfortunately, for the four friends, the house isn’t as empty as they thought and they are now at the mercy of an axe-wielding cannibal murderer.          
Who are you and why should I care???
    Where this film really fails is its inability to establish things like characters, and plot, and motives.  Winona is our films protagonist.  She’s in the majority of the film, and yet we know very little about her.  We know that she was in a relationship with Richard, and that she returned to her hometown to “clear her mind”...and that’s about it.  It is mentioned by Winona that her “manager” was the one who rented her the house, but they never establish what he’s a manager for.  Is she a model?  Is she an actress?  A musician?  An author?  What does she do that’s so important that she requires a manger?  There’s a guitar in the house that we see her pick up once, but she never plays I’m assuming that she’s a musician of some kind?  They also never actually establish what she left her hometown either.                                    
Hello, totally bad-a$$ killer
Then there’s the killer.  He’s this cool looking axe-wielding maniac, who eats his victims after he butchers them.  Unlike, killers in other Horror films, that lurk in the shadows and who try to stay out of the sight of their victims, this killer is loud and out-in-the-open.  He doesn’t try to hide from or surprise his victims, he comes right out there and let’s them know he’s there, and that he doesn’t care, and that he’s coming after them.  That’s a pretty creative twist to a character.  However, like our protagonist, we don’t know anything about him.  We never see his face, we never get his background story, we never get an explanation for anything.  Is a little character exposition too much to ask for?  Not only that, but nothing can freaking stop this guy!  He gets hit in the back with his own axe and he doesn’t even grunt in pain.  He gets shot in the head five times and he just keeps on going.  The only thing that stops him is when Winona drops a large rock on his head and crushes his skull!  I’m willing stretch my belief’s pretty far in most films, but seriously that is far too of an exaggeration for any character.  I’m calling some serious bull sh!t on that decision.                                          
Bloody Hell (Literally!)
Now I can understand that when you make a film on a very small budget, you’re not going to have the best special effects or the best actors, but I have to nitpick this next part.  This film was made in Sweden, with Swedish actors, but they are speaking English in the film.  It’s not even very good English, I had to watch the film with subtitles on, because at some points in the film, I couldn’t understand much through their Swedish accents, but again that’s just a part of the film, that I had a grievance with.  The dialogue (or lack thereof) isn’t that great either.  Most of the film relies on scenes depicting one character—usually Winona—just going about their daily business, without speaking.  When character do speak on camera it’s a very Europeanized version of English.  The way the cast talks sounds more like, how European’s think American’s talk. Almost every fourth or fifth word out of the character Carl’s mouth is “f*ck”, he sounds like he’s trying to talk like a teens in American Horror films.  The dialogue just isn’t that great.  I would have much preferred if all the actors spoke Swedish, and I had to watch this film with subtitles on.                        
I think due to its small budget, the film suffered a bit as piece.  It is not a terrible film by any stretch of the imagination, there are dozens of horror film that have been released in the past 5 years that are much worse than “Blood Runs Cold”, but this film just feels like its lacking.  It has potential, and I think if they would have spent more time establishing its characters than this could have been a more enjoyable film.  Should you check this film out?  I’d say go for it.  It’s only about 80 minutes long, and like I said, it’s not the Worst Film that I’ve seen.  It has it’s faults, but I still found it to be a decent film. 

As long as you keep your expectations low, I say Give it a shot

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