Last night my wife and I watched an effective and interesting film. A twist on the horror / thriller genre, “Blooded” was released in 2011 and written and directed by Edward Boase (“The Mirror”, “One Small Leap”).
The movie is presented as a documentary with dramatic reconstructions of key events supposed to have taken place in late 2005 after the fox-hunting ban was passed by the UK government in February of that year.
A prominent supporter of fox-hunting, and the country’s youngest hunt master, Lucas Bell (Neil McDermott – “EastEnders”, “The Royal”) is seen in supposedly archive TV footage declaring that nothing will stop him hunting. We are then told that a film was posted on the internet in early 2006 by the Real Animal League, an animal rights group, showing what happened on the Isle Of Mull during the previous October.
One of the things that I thought made this film more effective was the use of different actors for the supposedly recent interviews with the principal characters from those used for the “dramatic reconstructions”. This gave the piece a better sense of reality, appearing just like a genuine documentary.
Those reconstructions show Lucas (now played by Nick Ashdon – “El Greco”, “Godforsaken”) and four other young people heading to the island, where he has inherited a large area of land and a remote cottage, with the intention of spending a few days deer hunting.
Joining Lucas are his photographer brother Charlie (Mark Dexter – “From Hell”, “The Bill” / Oliver Boot – “Holby City”) and Charlie’s American girlfriend Eve Jourdan (Tracy Ifeachor – “Crossbones”, “The Originals” / Sharon Duncan-Brewster – “Top Boy”, “EastEnders”).
Also along for the trip are Lucas’s best friend Ben Fitzpatrick (Adam Best – “Holby City”, “Cup Cake” / Joseph Kloska – “Jane Eyre”, “Pete Versus Life”) and Lucas’s old flame Liv Scott (Isabella Calthorpe – “How To Lose Friends & Alienate People”, “13 Hours” / Cicely Tennant – “Dead Of The Night”).
Moving back and forth between interview segments and reconstruction, with bits of the Real Animal League’s internet video interspersed, we see how Lucas plans to ask Liv to marry him, only to be crushed when she beats him to the punch by telling him that she is marrying someone else. This leads to a tension filled dinner at the cottage before Lucas heads off out into the night.
What none of them realise, however, is that anonymous members of the Real Animal League have followed them to the island. When they awake the next morning Ben, Charlie, Eve and Liv find themselves, wearing only their underwear in separate remote parts of the bitterly cold, windswept island. And that’s just the beginning of their nightmares…
As noted above, we felt that this film was really well done, seeming very real – as if it were a true crime reconstruction. The reviews that I have seen of the movie are generally very negative, viewing it as pro-hunting propaganda. Now, I personally don’t have any firm views on the subject either way but can see that for many folk this film could be quite divisive – depending which side of the debate they sit on.
I can appreciate that the anti-hunting characters – all nameless and faceless bad guys – could easily have been transplanted from film about the IRA or other masked terrorist group. That said, any decent horror or thriller film needs to have it’s bad guys as well as good guys and the story here wouldn’t really have worked had the roles been reversed.
Granted, it’s more drama thriller than horror thriller (which I think was something of a relief for my better half), but at seventy-six minutes it gets the job done and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Certainly worth a viewing, I’d say…