BOOKS OF BLOOD Key Art | ©2020 Hulu

BOOKS OF BLOOD Key Art | ©2020 Hulu

Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Britt Robertson, Anna Friel, Rafi Gavron, Yul Vasquez, Frieda Foh Shen, Nicholas Campbell, Andy McQueen, Kenji Fitzgerald, Etienne Kellici
Writers: Adam Simon & Brannon Braga, based on the story THE BOOK OF BLOOD by Clive Barker
Director: Brannon Braga
Distributor: Hulu
Release Date: October 7, 2020

BOOKS OF BLOOD is the collective title for author Clive Barker’s first several published collections of short stories. THE BOOK OF BLOOD is also the title of a specific Barker story, which has been adapted for the screen once before, in 2009.

Here, director Brannon Braga and his co-screenwriter Adam Simon take THE BOOK OF BLOOD as their basis and weave two other stories around it. The construction is a little odd, as the BOOKS OF BLOOD film is broken into three parts, “Jenna,” “Miles,” and “Bennett.”

An opening card tells us the original BOOKS OF BLOOD were published in 1984. We then meet Bennett (Yul Vasquez) and his partner Steve (Andy McQueen), a pair of hitmen/enforcers who are put on the trail of a rare book. The tome, they’re told, is worth so much that they can easily retire upon its sale. This sends them to the neighborhood of Ravenmore, where Steve remembers something bad happened as a child.

In “Jenna,” we meet the young artist (Britt Robertson), who has left college after a terrible incident, which we learn about only gradually. Jenna has an extreme sensitivity to sound, taking her noise-canceling headphones everywhere she goes. She’s also off her psych meds. When Jenna hears her mother plotting to institutionalize her, she grabs a stack of money from the closet and takes the next bus out of town.

Planning to go to Los Angeles, Jenna gets spooked and instead disembarks in a small town. She winds up taking a room with kindly couple Ellie (Frieda Foh Shen), a former nurse, and Sam (Nicholas Campbell), a carpenter. Jenna has disturbing nightmares, and believes she’s being stalked. There are twists, expected and otherwise. The finale to the tale is genuinely surprising and Barkeresque.

In “Miles,” we are introduced to the title character (Etienne Kellici), a seven-year-old boy dying of leukemia. Miles’s mother Mary (Anna Friel) loves her child above everything in the world. However, she is a college professor who specializes in debunking frauds, especially those who claim to be able to contact spirits.

After Miles dies, medium Simon (Rafi Gavron) claims to have a message for Mary from her son. She is disbelieving and furious, but when Simon demonstrates his abilities, she becomes a believer.

By the time we get to “Bennett,” we know about the book, and why it’s a bad idea for the two criminals to attempt to obtain it.

The filmmakers are adept at using Barker-type imagery in scenes and even in Jenna’s artwork. They are also admirably in tune with a recurring theme in Barker’s writing, which is (to put it as unspoilerishly as possible) that not everybody wants the same things from existence.

There’s also a nice compromise between Barker’s original British settings and the North American transposition (BOOKS OF BLOOD was filmed primarily in Nova Scotia). The small town were much of the action is set looks like one of those spooky places that fits in almost anywhere.

The cast is very strong, with Robertson, Friel, Shen, and Gavron especially effective.

The center story, “Miles,” explains what exactly the Book of Blood is, and “Bennett” is very much tied to this. However, while “Jenna” feels thematically very much like Barker’s work, especially in its denouement, it isn’t well tied in to the other two installments. Given the way “Miles” and “Bennett” fit together, it seems like there should have been more attempt to get “Jenna” into the fold.

There are also a couple of logic glitches, most notably in the “Jenna” section. The genre often asks for a certain suspension of disbelief, but certain aspects make us ask questions we shouldn’t.

Mostly, though, BOOKS OF BLOOD delivers on what it promises: bloody short-form Barker horror.

Related: Movie Review:  THE GIANT
Related: Movie Review:  AMMONITE
Related: Movie Review:  JUNGLELAND
Related: Movie Review: A PLACE AMONG THE DEAD
Related: Movie Review: COME PLAY
Related: Movie Review: MORTAL
Related: Movie Review: THE CALL
Related: Movie Review: SYNCHRONIC
Related: Movie Review: TO YOUR LAST DEATH
Related: Movie Review: THE WITCHES
Related: Movie Review: LOVE AND MONSTERS
Related: Movie Review: DON’T LOOK BACK
Related: Movie Review: HOSTS
Related: Movie Review: ETERNAL BEAUTY
Related: Movie Review: DEATH OF ME
Related: Movie Review: POSSESSOR
Related: Movie Review: ANTEBELLUM
Related: Movie Review: SPIRAL
Related: Movie Review: RENT-A-PAL
Related: Movie Review: MULAN
Related: Movie Review: THE OWNERS
Related: Movie Review: THE FACELESS MAN
Related: Movie Review: WIDOW’S POINT
Related: Movie Review: Z
Related: Movie Review: EMPEROR
Related: Movie Review: BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC
Related: Movie Review: THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD
Related: Movie Review: ENTWINED
Related: Movie Review: TESLA
Related: Movie Review: RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE
Related: Movie Review: CUT THROAT CITY
Related: Movie Review: WATCH LIST
Related: Movie Review: MURDER IN THE WOODS
Related: 
Movie Review: THE BAY OF SILENCE
Related: Movie Review: THE SECRET GARDEN
Related: Movie Review: THE RENTAL
Related: Movie Review: LIMBO
Related: Movie Review: THE HOST
Related: Movie Review: THE FIGHT
Related: Movie Review: THE OLD GUARD
Related: Movie Review: AMULET
Related: Movie Review: A DEADLY LEGEND
Related: Movie Review: GHOSTS OF WAR
Related: Movie Review: RELIC
Related: Movie Review: THE BEACH HOUSE
Related: Movie Review: BELZEBUTH
Related: Movie Review: JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
Related: Movie Review: FOUR KIDS AND IT
Related: Movie Review: FOLLOWED
Related: Movie Review: YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT
Related: Movie Review: MISS JUNETEENTH
Related: Movie Review: DRIVEN
Related: Movie Review: THE SURROGATE
Related: Movie Review: THE COLLINI CASE
Related: Movie Review: DREAMLAND
Related: Movie Review: SHIRLEY
Related: Movie Review: JUDY &  PUNCH
Related: Movie Review: END OF SENTENCE
Related: Movie Review: EQUAL STANDARD
Related: Movie Review: EVIL LITTLE THINGS
Related: Movie Review: VALLEY GIRL (2020)
Related: Movie Review: TROLLS WORLD TOUR
Related: Movie Review: SEA FEVER
Related: Movie Review: WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS
Related: Movie Review: VIVARIUM
Related: Movie Review: BLOODSHOT
Related: Movie Review: THE POSTCARD KILLINGS
Related: Movie Review: THE BANKER
Related: Movie Review: ONWARD
Related: Movie Review: RUN THIS TOWN
Related: Movie Review: ESCAPE FROM PRETORIA
Related: Movie Review: THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)
Related: Movie Review: FANTASY ISLAND
Related: Movie Review: COME TO DADDY
Related: Movie Review: THE LODGE
Related: Movie Review: THE GENTLEMEN
Related: Movie Review: THREE CHRISTS
Related: Movie Review: CLEMENCY
Related: Movie Review: LITTLE WOMEN
Related: Movie Review: 1917
Related: Movie Review: JUST MERCY
Related: Movie Review: BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019)
Related: Movie Review: RICHARD JEWELL
Related: Movie Review: DANIEL ISN’T REAL
Related: Movie Review: LITTLE JOE
Related: Movie Review: KNIVES OUT
Related: Movie Review: QUEEN & SLIM
Related: Movie Review: FROZEN II

Follow us on Twitter at ASSIGNMENT X
Like us on Facebook at ASSIGNMENT X

Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Movie Review:  BOOKS OF BLOOD

 

Related Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

CAPTCHA Image
*

Increase your website traffic with Attracta.com
bottom round