Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Film Review: Blood Runs Cold (2011)

Blood Runs Cold (Review)
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No
A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!*

"...this is more of a slasher to kill time and have fun..."

Winona (Hanna Oldenburg), a writer, escapes her stressful life by returning to her hometown when her manager rents her a cabin in the woods. At a bar, Winona runs into her ex-boyfriend and his friends, and she eventually invites them back to her place... which isn't as empty as they initially believed.

Blood Runs Cold is a very simple slasher. The first act consists of Winona running into her ex-boyfriend and reconnecting; she also meets her boyfriend's friends, and they have a small get-together when they return to her place. This noble attempt at character development unfortunately fails, and becomes a drag as it lasts about 30 minutes with minimal suspense. Afterward, chaos erupts as an axe-wielding maniac makes his presence known. And so, the occupants are picked off one by one, until Blood Runs Cold reaches its predictable conclusion. Really, you've seen it all before.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Blood Runs Cold has more than a handful of great moments. I like the foreshadowing with the unnamed antagonist moving around in the background of some scenes. There are some very suspenseful scenes, as well, including great chases. The antagonist's design is also great, he's often intimidating and becomes creepier during the end. The violence and gore effects are practical, which is always interesting to watch; there are gallons and gallons of blood, but some of the kills are off-screen. All of this isn't half bad, especially considering the supposed $5000 budget. Of course, there are quite a few illogical scenes, as well as the rushed ending -- if you can't forgive plot contrivances, this may not be for you.

Hanna Oldenburg plays the lead, and she delivers a solid performance throughout most of the film; her screaming can use some help, though, she definitely won't be winning scream queen any time soon. The rest of the cast do a competent job. The acting does suffer from some cliché dialogue, though; some of the dialogue is cheesy, and awkward due to the lack of chemistry between the cast. The special effects and cinematography are an accomplishment considering the budget, and they'd be great even with a larger budget. The story is generally a trip down memory lane, and it ultimately feels incomplete, so the writing really isn't all that great. Sonny Laguna has great direction, though, as he builds great suspense in the latter half of the film.

Overall, Blood Runs Cold is a good slasher. The first act is a drag to get through, but the rest of the film delivers great suspense, and some interesting effects for gore fans. If you're a picky viewer, you may not be able to get over the plot contrivances, though; this is more of a slasher to kill time and have fun, rather than a slasher to compete with Halloween or Black Christmas.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, some nudity and sex.

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