January 10, 2019 Blood Bound (Movie Review)
What is to become of your fate when you are a member of a family ruled by darkness? From Film Mode Entertainment and the director of 2017’s Dementia 13 comes Blood Bound, a brand-new entry into Supernatural Horror that arrives to VOD on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.
The story starts out simply enough: Raul (Joseph Melendez: Ozark series, For The People series) and Valencia (Karmine Alers: Whirlwind 2007, Naked As We Came 2012) have just moved to town, only to hear news of a string of home invasions. In this same small town, a trio of teens — Kerry (Eden Brolin: Code Black series, Beyond series), her boyfriend Sean (Eric Nelsen: A Walk Among the Tombstones 2014, The Affair series), and their friend Brian (Justiin A. Davis: Boardwalk Empire series, Chicago Med series) — get greedy, only to find that they have meddled in something much darker than they could have ever imagined.
What follows brings the quintet together into an occult-themed plot that involves a coven of witches, a blood-thirsty darkness, and one man’s conflicted struggle against his destiny. Clocking in at roughly 96 minutes, Blood Bound was written and directed by Richard LeMay, who has previously delivered 2012’s Naked As We Came and 2017’s Dementia 13.
It also stars Ross Wellinger (Long Distance series, Then That Happened series) as David; Rose Arredondo (Still Alice 2014, Rosewell, New Mexico series) as Sarita; Ben Weaver (Naked As We Came 2012, Daddy 2015) as Sean’s brother Sam; Chester Jones III (A Most Violent Year 2014, Mr. Robot series) as Sam’s friend Travis; Vanessa Rubio (How To Be Single 2016, The Hudson Tribes 2016) as Elicia; Aleita Northey (Masters of Horror series, This Blows series) as Ginny; Leif Steinert (Criminal Minds series, Dementia 13 2017) as Sam’s friend Randy; and Timothy Hughes (The Greatest Showman 2017, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee series) as the Demon.
Billed as “Rosemary’s Baby meets Drag Me to Hell,” Blood Bound takes its viewers into the occult subgenre of Horror with a coven of witches hellbent on fulfilling an age-old bargain, no matter the cost. While the film definitely shares some slight similarities with Roman Polanski’s 1968 classic, its connection to the latter film is a bit more tenuous. Truth be told, Blood Bound is never as creepy or haunting as either of these beloved Horror offerings, though that doesn’t mean that it’s a total flop.
Simply put: Blood Bound is never scary, creepy, disturbing, or any other of a myriad of adjectives that one would utilize to describe a truly killer Horror flick. Nope, sorry. It does have a script that’s at least interesting for its run-time, if a bit banal, and some superb acting. In fact, in his role as the conflicted coven member David, Wellinger gives the best performance of the film. As awkward as the role is, portraying a man who has never stepped outside of his family and knows nothing of the real world, Wellinger is convincing at being both socially awkward and emotionally conflicted over his destiny. It cannot possibly be easy to effectively portray the contradiction of being both harsh and demanding and curiously clueless.
It’s very much a credit to his acting that the film holds up, as without his commitment to the bizarre role, Blood Bound might have slipped into cheesy territory. Similarly, Brolin does a solid job of maintaining a stony face throughout for her troubled character Kerry.
Thankfully, the film avoids going Velveeta for its duration, save for a scene near the ending wherein the Demon (Hughes) does some ripping and tearing. This breaks the continuity of what was previously established, adding needless blood and silly carnage to a film that had previously gone for an intense mood over gratuitous gore. It would have been better for the overall integrity of the film to cut those few minutes and avoid the laughable tearing of arms and popping of ribs. No slight to Hughes, however: he is suitably voracious in his role.
Let’s face it, the idea of a coven tormenting innocent individuals to complete an age-old ritual is nothing new or shocking, and on that point, Blood Bound isn’t breaking any new ground. However, LeMay and his cast and crew manage to take the fairly commonplace script and hold their viewer’s attention for the duration, thanks much in part to some superb acting. Definitely worth a bag of popcorn, Cryptic Rock give Blood Bound 3.5 of 5 stars.