Posted by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard | Jan 25, 2023 | Read Time 4 min.
BLOOD is a new horror movie with blood-thirst as the main theme. Well, also parenting and trying to overcome substance abuse, but the element that makes this a horror-thriller is definitely the bloodlust.
Michelle Monaghan plays the lead character who is fighting for her kids but does so much wrong in the process. Both for her kids and herself. So yes, you can expect to get annoyed and irritated along the way. However, I also have to admit that within the context of this particular setting, it all makes sense.
Continue reading our Blood movie review below. Find it in theaters from January 27 and on VOD from January 31, 2023.
In Blood, we meet the nurse and recently separated mother, Jess (Michelle Monaghan). In order to move on and create a good life for herself and her kids, she moves her daughter Tyler and young son Owen into her family farmhouse. It’s an old house a bit too far away from everything, but financially, it’s the only thing that makes sense.
Shortly after moving into the farmhouse, the family dog (one the father gave the kids) runs away into the woods. The kids are distressed and mother Jess is at her wit’s end. Once the dog returns – days later, blood-soaked and rabid – things don’t exactly get better.
The dog attacks Owen and bites him in a very realistic and brutal way. The bite on his neck (yes, we’re in a vampire/werewolf hybrid situation almost) results in an infection that takes several very bad turns. When Owen suddenly wakes up and reaches for the bag of blood next to his bed, a cure for his strange illness is finally found.
Owen needs blood and lots of it. In fact, if he doesn’t get blood, his behavior becomes frightening and his condition turns deadly again. So, how far will Jess go to keep Owen alive? And is it even safe to keep him alive when he’s clearly a danger to everyone around him?!
Somehow, everything is Jess’ fault in this movie. The dog that she didn’t get the kids is her responsibility and even if the kids are at their dad’s house, it’s her fault if they run away. And Jess is quite the punching bag who really doesn’t dare to fight back too much. She’s been dealing with addiction and there’s a custody battle brewing, so she just needs to lay low.
And the dad knows this as well. He’s played by Skeet Ulrich (Scream) in a relatively small role. His portrayal as the father of their two kids is both a heartwarming one and a rather conniving one. You can absolutely understand him, but he’s clearly also so used to being responsible for the kids and blaming Jess for everything that it’s now an automatic reaction.
Michelle Monaghan has much more screen time and is the main character of Blood. She plays Jess in a very nuanced way, where you might not agree with her actions, but the reasoning is always there. If you’ve watched the Netflix series Echoes, then you might recognize some of this soft feistiness Jess is trying to utilize.
The kids are portrayed by two young talents that have very different roles to play, but both deliver strong performances in their own fields. Finlay Wojtak-Hissong (The Kindness of Strangers) is perfect as the feral Owen, after having portrayed him as both charming and over-protected.
Skylar Morgan Jones (Terror in the Woods) plays Tyler in a heartbreaking and strong way as the older sister, who is burdened with way too much responsibility. Always doing her best to not create more problems for her mom, but also clearly hurting.
The director of Blood is Brad Anderson who has some amazing movies on his resume. For one, he directed the grotesquely intense and creepy The Machinist (2004) starring Christian Bale weighing next to nothing. Also, he directed the horror movies Session 9 (2001) and Vanishing on 7th Street (2010).
Over the years, Brad Anderson has been working mostly on TV series. Most recently, he directed a few episodes of series such as Devil in Ohio, Peacemaker, and Clickbait. His most recent movie, however, was the Netflix thriller Fractured (2019).
The writer of Blood in Will Honley who has three horror feature films on his resume prior to this one. He debuted in 2014 with The Hive, then came Bloodline in 2018 (you’ll definitely want to check out the one as well), before Escape Room 2 in 2021. His fifth movie with be Subservience which is a sci-fi thriller, currently in pre-production, with director S.K. Dale (Till Death).
If you’re in the mood for a classic vampire horror story with a twist (and plenty of blood), then you would do well to check out Blood. As long as you give it your full attention, this movie can work equally well in both the movie theater and at home.
Blood is in Theaters on January 27, 2023, and Available On Demand on January 31, 2023.
Director: Brad Anderson
Writer: Will Honley
Cast: Michelle Monaghan, Skeet Ulrich, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, June B. Wilde, Skylar Morgan Jones
Jess, a separated and nurse who moves with her daughter and young son Owen back into her old farmhouse. Shortly after settling in, Owen is bitten by the dog, resulting in a mysterious infection from the bite.
I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn’t use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
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