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March 27, 2013

Movie Review: Bloodline (2011)

by Peggy Christie

You know, for a vengeance flick, I expected the Italians to deliver something with a little  more Godfather and lot less Night of the Demons. Oh, well. We can't have everything.

Bloodline starts off with a happy little family traipsing through some happy little woods. Twin girls Giulia and Sandra run off to play hide and seek much to the delight of their folks who just wanna get it on. While Sandra hides, Giulia seeks. Within minutes, Giulia gets scared and mentally communicates with Sandra to knock it off and just come out already. You know, that whole twin-telepathy thing.

Just as the game ends, a young woman runs up to the girls. Before she can explain who she is, why she's been running, and why she looks so terrified, a man dressed like he works in a slaughterhouse shows up and shoots her with some kind of knock out juice. The girls run off but wouldn't you know it, Sandra steps into a bear trap. Giulia can't get her out but goes to find help. Unfortunately, our rubber aproned maniac catches her and does whatever it is he does. Double unfortunately, Sandra is still "linked" to her sister. Until Giulia dies, of course.

Fast forward 20 years and Sandra is now an investigative journalist. She and her photographer partner, Marco, botch a stake out but get one last chance from their boss. The catch is they have to go film behind the scenes of a porno movie that's being filmed in the same woods where Giulia was murdered. Sandra is reluctant at first (gee, ya think?) but she thinks it might help give her some closure. I think. Personally I would have told my boss to blow it out her ass.

Sandra and Marco travel to "the woods" where a lavish estate now stands. The lead actor, and financier of the movie, specifically asked for them to come (heh heh) much to the chagrin of the artsy fartsy director. All the actors seem fine with Sandra and Marco being there and so the filming begins.

There's a bit of a problem though. Sandra begins to see Giulia everywhere - the stables, the bush maze, the bathtub. At first she thinks Giulia is angry because Sandra abandoned her 20 years ago. If you call getting stuck in a bear trap and rendered unable to run away as abandonment then okay, I'll agree. But two of the porn actors decide to quit filming and Giulia's ghost leads Sandra and Marco to witness their murder at the hands of a man who looks just like the guy who killed Giulia.

Maybe Giulia is here to help. Maybe she wants to help Sandra take revenge on the psycho butcher. (Finally!)

Then why is Giulia's ghost possessing the corpses of the victims and then making them attack the survivors? Why has the director flown over the cuckoo's nest and decided to film the ensuing carnage for a snuff film? What the hell is going on?

By the time the story fully develops, I was this close to shutting the movie off. It seemed like the writer just short circuited his continuity button (which is amusing since the character of the porn film director makes a big deal out of continuity at one point) and started mishmashing themes of haunting, possession, zombies, psychopaths, and a partridge in a pear tree. But eventually it all pulls together and I yelled, "a-ha!"

I actually did.

The acting was a step above regular B horror. I get the feeling, however, that if the actors playing out the porn scenes weren't in a horror movie, they really would have been in porn. They seemed much more comfortable, and not really acting, during the sex scenes. Once they started to play their characters, their acting felt flaccid (sorry, couldn't help myself).

The special effects and make-up showed the lack of budget. The camera work was distracting. I can only imagine that they couldn't afford some kind of stabilizer and that the cameraman was filming while bouncing around on one of those hoppity balls. I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit from motion sickness. The music was either over the top or inappropriate. I always knew when something bad was about to happen because the high end was equalized right the fuck out and the remaining power bass shook all the windows in my house.

Though this wasn't a complete failure as far as some horror flicks go, I doubt I will ever watch it again.

2 Hatchets

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