There is nothing more therapeutic in my life than having the ability to analyze horror films. As a blogger, I’m subjected to the absolute extremes as far as quality of content. Whenever a filmmaker sends a request for a film review or a quick plug for their upcoming film, I’m always willing to be as accommodating as possible. For example: If I know personally anyone who has worked on the film and I think it blows, I’ll give them the option of letting me post the negative review or not posting it at all. If a filmmaker approaches me that I’ve never met before and is nice to me and I think the movie blows, I’ll send them back my review and allow constructive criticism one on one. If a filmmaker is a total asshole to me when I tell them I disliked their film, I put them on blast online. Please note that I’m focusing on indie films here, as mainstream films are fair game. Look, I’m not here to pander to anyone, but I’m also far too much of a bleeding heart to completely tear apart a film. I’m an actress, I’ve been in my fair share productions that were downright abysmal, but it doesn’t make it hurt less when we get a bad review. Maybe I’m too nice? I don’t know. That, and I don’t want to be one of those critics that seems to hate everything they watch. So trust me when I say, there’s a ton of films that I’ve watched but will never post on here or my own site for the aforementioned reasons.
About a month ago, Cortez The Killer from Planet of Terror, approached the members of The League of Tana Tea Drinkers with a new film that totally blew him away. Being the sucker for a quality indie film that I am, I immediately put in a request for a screener without even reading a review. I’m glad to say, Cortez didn’t steer me in the wrong direction. Although not a perfect film by any means, Scooter Downey’s It’s In The Blood was incredibly strong and worth while.
The most difficult part of this line of work is trying to review a film without completely spoiling the twists and surprises. I’m not a film trailer, I’m not here to ruin the movie before you even get your hands on it. I found this film to be much like Cabin In The Woods, in that some of the most enjoyable moments were the ones that came completely out of left field, which is a comparison I’ve noticed just about everyone who has reviewed this film. So, sue me for making the same one. The story follows a young med school student named October who is coming home in an attempt to reconnect with his estranged father Russell played by none other than Lance Henriksen. A few years previously, a horrible tragedy hit the family where the father lives and October is forced to return to the location in order to reconnect.
Within the first fifteen minutes, the film sets up the tone absolutely flawlessly. The opening scene has a haunting showcase of the darkest attributes of human nature and jumps into developing two complex and interesting characters. The father and son venture into the wilderness to bond when everything takes a sharp turn into the macabre as well as jolting us with one of the most convincingly grotesque compound fractures I’ve seen in a long while. I mean that, the practical FX completely and wholeheartedly rule. Without giving away too much, it becomes more than apparent that the two are being tracked down by a creature in the wilderness, something intelligent, horrifying, and determined to take them down. The film is littered with elements from a multitude of different horror films, generating a film that completely transcends subgenres with ease. The direction and editing of this film is spot on, but the two main characters were pure joy to watch. The transition from bitter family members into comrades struggling to survive was done fluidly and with solid pacing. With an atmosphere that keeps the audience at the edge of their seat, the film never once feels flat or dull. When the creature is finally revealed, it’s a very strong design and again, PRACTICAL. Gotta love that.
At the end of the day, It’s In The Blood is one of those films that gives purpose to what it is that I do. It shows a strong aptitude for the genre as well as instills a strong faith that there are filmmakers that still create films from the heart, and not from the bottom of their pockets.
For more information about the film, check out its website: