Blood Creek (2009)
(18) Running time: 95 minutes
Director: Joel Schumacher
Writer: David Kajganich
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Henry Cavill, Dominic Purcell, Emma Booth
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
Blood Creek is one of those horrors that has far too much ambition, tries to be too clever and sadly gets caught up in its own ideas and becomes a bit of a mess. Saying that though, the first half of this Nazi themed horror is actually very good indeed. The opening ten minutes explain how the Nazi’s offer a family living on a farm lots of money, in return they would like Nazi Richard Wirth to stay with them to conduct experiments. Turns out he is there to use a rhinestone, something which should give him the power to raise the dead, and the intention is to build an army of dead Nazi soldiers. The family learn of this, and learn of a way to trap the horrible man, by feeding him human blood.
Many decades later we meet Evan Marshall, a paramedic whose life is a bit of a mess. His Father is ill, he works long hours and has to look after his brothers kids when they need him. His brother disappeared on a fishing trip and has been presumed dead, until now. Out of the blue he turns up, battered and messy, he asks for Evan’s help to get back at his captors and Evan helps, without question. The brothers head to the farmhouse we saw at the beginning, and we suddenly realise things are about to turn nasty as Evan’s brother Victor (Purcell) starts asking the family where “he” is. We learn who “he” is, and suddenly the Nazi who could raise the dead is on the rampage, trying to get into the house and kill everyone. He does, however, use his skills carefully. He kills a horse in order to bring it back to life as his Demonic helper, which leads to a terrific scene as the horse smashes through the kitchen door and attacks.
Sadly though, all the build up and tension and, to be fair, quite interesting story gets lost as the film heads towards a climax that is clichéd and a daft really. The film, for all its previous merits, really does begin to fall apart as the story runs away with itself and it feels like the focus is lost to make way for the next big set piece. The Nazi who raises the dead is quite a creation, and is actually a lot of fun to watch, but that’s the issue, it becomes almost slapstick. This could have been terrifying, but it is not. The majority of the characters are also quite shallow, with only the Brothers really making any real impact, especially Evan in the earlier moments of the film. The design of the film is good, dark and with some Gothic elements, and the music is loud and at times, impressive. The acting is very good, and it should be considering who is involved, there are also some decent special effects (although at times they can be laughable), but there was just something missing here.
A great build up, but a messy and unimaginative climax leave a real sour taste. Another missed opportunity, and what a missed chance of the director rebuilding his slowly diminishing reputation. What a shame.