Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blood Creek (2009)

Director Joel Schumacher is well known for his fan-favorite vampire movie The Lost Boys, his thrillers Phonebooth and The Number 23 and his entries into the 90's Batman series (including the horrible Batman & Robin). While he has had mixed success over his career when it comes to horror his films are usually decent.

Blood Creek (originally titled Town Creek) starts out in pre-WWII West Virginia at the home of the Wollners, a German family living in America, are contacted by the Third Reich about hosting a German historian, Richard Wirth, as he does his work. The family accepts the generous offer of rent for hosting the professor and we soon find out Wirth's intentions are more of the occult and finding the ancient viking Rune Stones left behind than of research. The opening scene starts out with a narrative briefly explaining Hitler's fascination with the occult and how he felt it was the key to victory for his perfect race. The opening scene is dark, a bit gritty and shrouded in mystery. The audience is set up for a very grim occult horror film.

Flash forward to present day and we are introduced to the Marshall brothers, Evan is a paramedic and Victor is a war veteran who was thought to be killed in the war. When the brothers reunite Victor asks his brother to assist him in something that will change him forever. The brothers canoe down the town's creek and then take the fastest 2 mile walk I've ever seen to a farm. Armed with shotguns the brothers don't wait long to start shooting at the family, eventually we find out the reason they are there is because the family has been kidnapping people to feed a beast they've been hiding. This beast is none other than Wirth, the professor of the Third Reich. Wirth became obsessed with the Rune Stone (which happened to be right on the family farm and used as the foundation for the barn) and its power. He had tried to do a ritual to gain a third eye and secure immortality for himself.

The family ends up not being quite the antagonist they were set up by the Marshall brothers to be as they had intentions of a greater good to keep Wirth fed (on human blood that is needed for the ritual of course) than to let him go and reek havoc on the world. He is also contained by certain paintings that act as a barrier he can't cross. His barn, the family house and the fence enclosing the farm are all sealed with these paintings.

Wirth eventually gets free of his "cage" inside the barn when the father of the family gets home, gets shot and barrels through the barn wall. This turns the movie into a "stalk and slash" film where the monster waits outside until someone comes out or baits them out. Eventually the family inside the house and the Marshall brothers band together and come up with a plan to defeat Wirth.

Blood Creek starts out grim and dark and really seemed like it could be something noteworthy. It quickly divulges into familiar territory that was competent but predictable. Schumacher's direction is serviceable but again, nothing to write home about. I understand that the screenplay used is much different than the original and that the original was much more based around the occult and powers than the slasher we got. The acting was good enough, the score wasn't memorable and lighting was fine. All in all it was about as middle of the road as it gets but it was entertaining for a viewing and you can certainly find worse horror movies out there.

One final note before I forget- The artwork for this movie was awesome and it was equally as disappointing that the movie wasn't better based on the artwork and opening scene.


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