Friday, December 5, 2014

Film Review: Blood Glacier (2013)

Blood Glacier (Review)
Austria/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a chain reaction of flaws."

A group of researchers find a glacier drenched in a mysterious red liquid.

Blood Glacier is a familiar creature feature. The story primarily follows loner Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) and the rest of this research group as they investigate the red liquid. The group believes the liquid is turning the area's wildlife into hybrids. All is well until they find the hybrids pose a legitimate threat. So, the group tries to survive until rescue arrives. Unfortunately, it doesn't feel like the plot every reaches a climax. Also, the ending echoes many of the issues I had with the film, so I didn't like it much.

The main issue I had with the film was the cast of characters. These are hollow and cliché characters. Worst of all, these are the same ol' irrational characters we've grown to dislike. When I think of real scientists, I think intelligent. When I think of movie scientists, I think irrational and stupid. Unfortunately, these characters land in the latter. This, in turn, also creates a contrived plot. The plot contrivances lead to a predictable story - and so on. It causes a chain reaction of flaws. Like during the ending, you can only think these characters don't have a shred of logic or it wouldn't have been so predictable -- it was off, that's it, it was way off.

It wasn't all bad, though. I enjoyed the setting. It gave off a The Thing vibe, which is always welcomed. The concept, although familiar, was also interesting. I thought this would be rip-off of The Thing, but this ended up being a different strain of the same beast. I liked the hybrid-creature concept, there are some cool creatures here and there. I only wish we could've seen more of them. Like many films, this film hides its creatures using very dark scenes and frantic camera work -- disappointing, indeed.

The acting was serviceable. Aside from Gerhard Liebmann, no one really stands out. It's not a bad thing, but it's not a good thing, either. The music was also serviceable, nothing I'll remember after writing this review. The cinematography was great, except for the very dark scenes. I really enjoyed the setting, it was captured well. This film is in German, with an English dub available. I watched the original German dub and the English subtitles were great. Director Marvin Kren has a great concept at hand and a superb setting, but the actual narrative is flawed. It's too cliché and predictable, and the film refuses to use its biggest attraction -- the creatures! There are also a few pacing issues -- it had me hooked one moment, then it had my head bobbing from boredom during another.

Overall, Blood Glacier isn't a good film, but it isn't bad, either. For me, it passes as merely decent. It has an interesting concept, but it's too afraid to spread its wings. It opts for cliché character and a predictable plot instead of creatures and scares. If you're itching for a creature feature, this might soothe the itch. However, don't expect a film like The Thing, you'll be itching from the disappointment.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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