Bloodline – Review

bloodline-1From the opening scene you are left in no doubt about what the film is and where it will go. Couple that with the title and you pretty much have everything you need right there. That isn’t to devaluate the movie in any way. it is an enjoyable slasher / serial killer story which makes up for its lack of total originality with an enjoyable spectacle.

By day Evan (Sean is asocial worker at the local high school. his time is filled with the trials and traumas of his teenage clients. He is the model of calmness and reason. At home he is happy with his wife in his modest home and looking forward to a baby on the way. Of course, this all changes once the baby is born and their lives are turned upside down looking after the needy infant. With tiredness and the daily parade of school kids in emotional and physical pain he finds he needs to do something to release the pressure. The only way he knows how is to take out his frustrations on people. Not just anyone. It eases his mind when he is following a code which means meting out justice to those he deems guilty of hurting the kids he counsels. Just how he can manage this and help to look after a baby is another dilemma for him to address.

Given that this is another in a long line of quality blumhouse productions it obviously has all the elements that make it an effective horror movie. On a relatively small budget the mostly practical effects are all superb. There is a lot of creativity in showing just how Evan goes about the business of dispatching his victims. There is a lot of blood on screen which is a big part of what it takes to satisfy his urges and keep him from looking closer to home to sate his appetites.

The central character is suitably detached as a person given what he is capable of. This in part to do with his job. He has to remain steady when helping young people when their emotion’s are heightened. He has to be the calming influence. This detachment may be the result of his own childhood trauma which is touched upon early in the film.

Seann William Scott is a delight as Evan. He does detached with creepy ease. Here it is a case of less is more. It what he doesn’t do that elevates the performance. As noted by one of his victims he is a monster hiding in plain sight. Alongside his mother (Dale Dickey) who is portrayed in a similar manner we are presented with a formidable pair. These two roles are in contrast to Lauren (Mariela Garriga), the wife of Evan. She is in a bot of emotional distress having given birth and the changes that has brought about. it is the perfect counterpoint to the creepy performances and gives a more normal aspect to the story.

As with a lot of horror movies, the soundscape, cinematography and editing are so important to its success. The soundscape and score are electronic based and compliment the visuals to effectively ramp up the tension. There are a couple of scenes that act as mini montages, basically rapid cuts that are used to contrast two elements for plot or character development which again, keeps the tension high.

The film may not break any new ground in terms of story but the execution is done with a lot of style which makes for a really good watch.

John McArthur
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