25th Jan2019

‘Dry Blood’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Clint Carney, Kelton Jones, Jaymie Valentine, Graham Sheldon, Rin Ehlers, Macy Johnson | Written by Clint Carney | Directed by Kelton Jones

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I have, unfortunately, not seen as many as the ‘Dread Central Presents’ titles as I would have liked but it’s great to see the site and, in the UK, ‘Frightfest Presents’, releasing movies that might not even get a release otherwise… So on to Dry Blood.

Reminiscent (in story and a couple of other little things) to the 2013 Evil Dead, Dry Blood sees lead character Brian decide to head to a kind of cabin in the woods he owns in a small rural mountain town, so he can get himself clean from drugs. He rings his on/off girlfriend to join and help him get through the next week or so. As this is a horror movie, things obviously don’t go smoothly for Brian and Anna.

Credit goes to the film-makers here because this doesn’t feel like the thousands of other “cabin in the woods” horror movies. Despite a low budget they’ve managed to create something that is much more fresh and original. Writer Clint Carney also plays the lead role and this is definitely a good thing. He clearly knows the character and how he wants him presented and it shows. He puts in a really good performance which is much needed because he is the full focus for at least 90% of the film. You’ll be asking yourself whether Brian is crazy, are these things really happening to him, is it the drugs taking their toll or is it a mixture of all of them?

And you’ll be asking these questions until the very last moments.

The other stand out performance actually comes from the director of the movie, Kelton Jones, as the sheriff. It’s a really fun character who enjoys annoying Brian. It’s a character you probably will have seen before but Jones plays it really well and he got a laugh from me in most of his scenes.

Dry Blood is a bit of a slow burn in terms of the action and the gore. Almost the first two third of the films shows very little and is used more to build the characters and the situation. But don’t take this as a bad thing. When done right, like here, it’s definitely a good thing and it makes the final third even better.

For a movie that obviously has a low budget, Dry Blood is visually great. Some of the ‘ghosts’ (I say ‘ghosts’ but you can decide if that’s exactly what they are) are just very cleverly created, with the headless figure bringing a whole lot of creepiness. But alongside the things that are scary, Dry Blood also produces some surprisingly shocking and brutal violence with gore to match. One particular moment left me open-mouthed, and that doesn’t happen too often. Alot of this happens in the final third and it’s perfectly timed, with those horror fans that have stuck with the film really getting their just rewards.

Dry Blood is the first truly good horror movie of 2019 and I can’t wait to see more from everyone involved.

**** 4/5

Dry Blood is available on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD now from Dread Central Presents/Epic Pictures.

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