It's in the Blood Movie Review
Directed by Scooter Downey
Written by Scooter Downey and Sean Elliot
2012, 81 minutes, Not Rated
Lance Henriksen as Russell
Sean Elliot as October
Rose Sirna as Iris
Jimmy Gonzales as Michael
We all have our demons, whether we want to admit to them or not. And most of these can be traced back to a moment in our past that changed our lives to the course it’s on now. Fortunately, for the majority of us, our demons are internal. But what if they were personified in the real world? That would not make for a good time At All. This is the story of It's in the Blood, a tale of a father and son that have some serious issues, and it's only as the film runs its course that you learn what brutal incident drove these two apart.
October (Sean Elliot) has returned home after an unknown time away at medical school to reunite with his father Russell (Lance Henriksen - Pumpkinhead, Aliens). To say the two have shaky relationship would be like saying that a few people died on the Titanic. It seems October has come home to confront his father about something that happened in the past and perhaps remove the wedge that has been driven between them. They head off into the wilderness to hunt, bond and maybe patch things up. But it's only after a hunting accident, involving Russell, that leaves the duo stranded in the woods where things turn bad. They literally have to face the demons that have been haunting them for years in the form of a strange, shadowy creature attacking them at every opportunity. Since the two are confined to one area due to Russell's injury, it's open season on them. Monsters in the present, monsters in the past, October and Russell are pretty much having the worst bonding experience ever.
I love Lance Henriksen. He's one of those actors that, no matter how shitty the movie is, he can make it worth watching on some level. But when you put him something that is pretty damn compelling to begin with, like It's in the Blood, you are in for a special treat. Henriksen is rock solid (as usual) as the father who is battling between being all man and showing his love for his estranged son.
Sean Elliot as October is impressive as well, easily holding his own next to the veteran actor. I've always said you can judge an actor's true skill by putting them at the side of someone with far more experience (a good example of this is how Laurence Fishburn completely out-acts Keanu Reeves in their scenes in The Matrix), but Elliot plays off Henriksen instead of being outshined by him. The two have great synergy and are quite believable as a family that has suffered something horrific.
Yet as terrific as Henriksen and Elliot are, Jimmy Gonzales destroys as Micheal, the character that is the catalyst of what ultimately is the true horror of the film. While Gonzales has the least amount of screen time of the three, he owns not just every scene he's in, but also leaves the biggest mark in the movie. His slimy character just oozes creepiness. It's a good thing, too, because if there were anyone lesser in this role, the most important scene in the movie – the one that gets down to the brass knuckles of plot of the film – would not nearly have had the strength of the gut punch that it does.
It's in the Blood almost tells two stories. The first is the monsters October and Russell are facing in the wilderness, where the other – told in flashback – is what led the two to this moment in their lives. Normally I tend to be in the camp of anything told in flashback is cheating and is bullshit writing, but in some cases, like here, it is extremely effective. There is no other way to tell this story. In addition, these two tales are so intriguing, director Scooter Downey could make a full-length film on each should he want to. (And I'm not averse to seeing more of Gonzales's Micheal. He's that damn effective.)
I am being intentionally vague on the film's plot because to delve too deep into it would run the risk of unfairly spoiling something. This is one of those movies that is best going into completely blind because it's not really a story but a journey. While the ending is just a bit over-the-top compared to the rest of the film, Downey has still expertly crafted a tale that keeps the mystery of what happened to the two main characters building until the climax. Even if you figure out the reveal on some level before it happens, it still leaves one hell of a mark.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.
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