September 16, 2019 Bloodline (Movie Review)
From Blumhouse, the producers who brought you 2017’s Get Out, 2013’s The Purge, 2012’s Sinister and more, comes Bloodline, a brand new Horror-Thriller starring Seann William Scott. Momentum Pictures delivers the madness in theaters, On Demand, and digital on Friday, September 20th, 2019.
Scott (American Pie 1999, Lethal Weapon series) stars as Evan Cole, a concerned and kind-hearted social worker at East Angeles High School in California. At home, he and his beautiful wife Lauren (Mariela Garriga: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series, Nightmare Cinema 2018) have just welcomed a son, Andrew. Witnessing the birth of his first child has touched something inside of Evan, a protective side that will not rest until his family is safe.
This defensiveness goes into hyperdrive when Lauren begins to struggle with new motherhood, and his mother Marie (Dale Dickey: Iron Man 3 2013, Hell or High Water 2016) comes to stay with the couple. Add to these stressors his work with troubled teens, particularly honors student Chris (Raymond Alexander Cham Jr.: Teen Beach 2 TV movie 2015, Mech-X4 series), who has a rough relationship with his drug addicted father (Leith M. Burke: The Haves and the Have Nots series, Suburbicon 2017). With the chaos around Evan amplifying, one thing becomes abundantly clear: family must be protected at all costs.
Clocking in at 96 minutes, Bloodline is a feature-length debut for exceptional Director Henry Jacobson (20 Minutes documentary short 2007, Election Day: Lens Across America TV documentary 2017), and was written by Jacobson with first-time writer Avra Fox-Lerner and Will Honley (The Hive 2014). It also features the acting talents of Kevin Carroll (The Leftovers series, Snowfall series); Cassandra Ballard (Fox and Bing series, Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies series); Hudson West (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 2015, General Hospital series); and more.
Billed as a Horror-Thriller, Bloodline is exactly this with Slasher tendencies and definite parallels with 1999’s American Psycho. In the latter film, we watch Patrick Bateman go off the rails, while this plot is a bit more ambiguous with its heroes and villains. Here, it is definitely hard to summon much empathy for the victims, a group of unsavory characters that includes an exceptionally rude nurse (Christie Herring: Agent Carter series, Roadies series), a racist ex-con (Nick Boraine: Paradise Stop 2011, Homeland series), and a child rapist (Dusty Sorg: Westworld series, Stumptown series). Throats are slashed and the blood gushes freely, making it clear how Bloodline has wholeheartedly earned its R-rating.
So, is a man who is known for his adolescent humor throughout the much-loved American Pie franchise convincing as a serial killer? Absolutely! Scott kills it (pun very much intended) in his role as Evan Cole. Intensely brooding where necessary, and at other times a kindly social worker who becomes a little too entrenched in his students’ lives, Evan’s character is meant to make you think about killers—their nature and motives, and their humble beginnings. It’s thanks to Scott’s ability to portray both the sociopath and the tender family man that allows viewers to struggle with their empathy, and ask themselves the deep, probing questions that Bloodline stirs. For this, he gives a stand-out performance in a role that might shock some.
In fact, Scott’s exemplary execution provides the anchor that allows his co-stars—the equally talented Garriga and Dickey—to shine in their own performances, as well. For Garriga, that includes embodying both the chaos and love inherent in new motherhood, and, above all things, standing by her man. Dickey’s role is a bit more subtle, as Marie is not so clear-cut: an hyper-involved mother with a complicated past. Despite their unique roles, both ladies deliver exceptional performances.
Add to all of this a magnificent, synth-heavy score from Trevor Gureckis (Vice series, The Goldfinch 2019), along with stunning, moody cinematography from Isaac Bauman (Channel Zero series, Desolate 2019), and Bloodline is a win. With plenty of severed jugulars, this is a languid yet intense tale that provides sufficient twists to keep viewers engaged, as it depicts a psychological study of the evil that men do. Full of monsters who hide in plain sight, Bloodline is guaranteed to make you think. For this, Cryptic Rock give Bloodline 4.5 of 5 stars. Remember: a happy daddy makes a happy home!