Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jay's Review: Blood Creek

a review I did of a film that was a very nice surprise of a monster movie...


In 1936, the Wollners, a German family living in Town Creek, West Virginia, are contacted by the Third Reich to host a visiting scholar. In need of money, the accept Professor Ricard Wirth into their home, unaware of the Third Reich's practices in the occult or Wirth's real mission, which will keep the family bound for decades to come. Now, more than 70 years later, Evan Marshall's older brother Victor mysteriously disappears near Town Creek for two years and suddenly returns very much alive, having escaped his captors. Evan asks no questions; at his brother's request, he loads their rifles, packs their boat and follows Victor back to Town Creek on a mission of revenge that will test them in every possible way...

Joel Schumacher has always been well-known for his visuals more than the stories in him films. Just see The Lost Boys, Flatliners, or even Batman & Robin if you're curious. You're not getting as distinct a stylist as you do with a film by Jerry Bruckheimer or either Tony or Ridley Scott but still you know his films are generally going to be easy on the eyes. Blood Creek has more the feel of his lower-budget ventures like Tigerland or Veronica Guerin, but still bears the stamp of his discerning eye for visuals. (There's a shot in the beginning segment, set in 1936, that looks right out of a Universal Studios Horror Film.) While unsure of the pedigree of this film, and primarily knowing the leads (Henry Cavill and Dominic Purcell) from their TV work, it certainly feels like it was meant for a full theatrical release.

The synopsis above gets the film rolling with a pair of brothers hitting the road and no questions asked. This irrational fraternal devotion leads to some very questionable behavior as they go in guns a-blazin' after a West Virginia farm family who has held Vic captive and provoke a whole slew of nasty questions: Why is this family ageless? What's in the black container? Who's bloodied and chained up in the trailer? And, the most classic of questions: What's in the basement?

With Blood Creek you get a certain sense of campy play at work. It's a gory supernatural thriller that feels very original and creative, with a plot like some Comic Book with Nazis, Occultism, family legacies, revenge, Runes, and what I guess I'd call... well, no, I won't spoil the various monsters. Blood Creek feels "fresher" than most horror titles coming out lately. It's got the de rigeur realistic gore, but has more "crazy" in the supernaturally-tinged storyline than I've seen in a long time.

Blood Creek is presented in Widescreen format with English and Spanish subtitles and English 5.1 Surround Sound. The DVD includes a Director's Commentary and trailers for Gamer, Saw VI, Cabin Fever II: Spring Fever, Train, and the websites and

90 stylish minutes that don't feel like they were meant to be (practically) straight to DVD. Visually accomplished, violent, loony as hell; Blood Creek is a nice change from "endangered teens," uncreative "torture porn," and "crazy backwoods families" of late. Okay there's a "crazy backwoods family" here but at least they're not inbred cannibals, and you gotta love that, right? A refreshingly different, easy on the eyes, popcorn-friendly monster movie worth a watch.

(One caveat: not for anyone with a blanket aversion to depictions of violence against animals.)


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