26th Aug2019

Frightfest 2019: ‘Bloodline’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Seann William Scott, Mariela Garriga, Dale Dickey, Kevin Carroll, Christie Herring, Raymond Alexander Cham Jr., Leith M. Burke, Nick Boraine, Dusty Sorg, Sean H. Scully, Larsen Thompson | Written by Henry Jacobson, Avra Fox-Lerner, Will Honley | Directed by Henry Jacobson

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Sean William Scott as a serial killer. As soon as I read that I knew Bloodline was a movie and role that I never knew I wanted to see but now had to. I was very much looking forward to see if it worked out at all like I hoped it would.

Scott plays Evan, father of a newborn son with his wife Lauren (Mariela Garriga) and we see the stress of a new baby effects both of them in very different ways. Evan has a tendency to kill people and now he has a son to look after and protect. While Lauen is struggling with breast feeding and a very limited amount of sleep, all while Evan’s mother, Marie (Dale Dickey) is over to stay and ‘help’ with the baby.

This is director Henry Jacobson’s first full length feature and it’s impressive for many reasons. It looks fantastic, often dark but with a great use of light, using what is on screen visually almost as much as actual dialogue to get his message across. It’s, at times, a quiet, almost subdued movie, matching the often emotionless exterior of Evan.

Jacobson also did a great job of getting Trevor Gureckis to compose the music. Not well versed in horror movies based on his IMdB filmography, Gureckis creates a fantastically original and diverse score. For the most part, not sounding like your typical horror score, although occasionally using the current synth trend to good effect. The music produces some great atmospheric moments. I feel like every other genre movie I watch at the moment, I am explaining how much I love the score, modern horror really is at a golden age when it comes to musical scores.

Obviously well known for his comedic turns, mainly as Stifler in the American Pie franchise, Sean William Scott simply hasn’t been involved in much else that doesn’t try to make you laugh. So it is an even more brilliant casting choice here, as he puts in one of, if not, his career best performances. He has that cold, emotionless serial killer look down to perfection. The close-ups on his face when he is in the midst of murder, say so much more than any dialogue could. All his facial expressions are spot-on, there’s no comedy here whatsoever. And when he is killing, he is very believable being violent and brutal.

The character is an interesting one as well, you wont completely hate him despite his killing tendencies.

Something that might not get mentioned so much, is that the movie does a good job of showing what the first few weeks of becoming a parent are like, especially from the mother’s point of view. Right from the birth (which is shown very graphically) to the difficulty of breast-feeding to then having to continuously wake-up every night. Unfortunately the rest of the movie moves away from this aspect for the most part but that is understandable – the main story here are the murders.

And those murders are brutally violent, nothing is held back. The gore effects are impressive as we get close-ups of slit throats and stabbings. The harshness of the deaths is at first quite jarring and you never really get used to it.

My only real disappointment was a slightly predictable and anti-climatic ending but it is a small complaint. Like a mix of Maniac, Dexter and Psycho, Bloodline is an interesting and vicious take on the serial killer movie. I hope Sean William Scott sticks around in the genre for a few more movies.

**** 4/5

Bloodline screened on August 25th as part of Arrow Video Frightfest 2019.

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