Director: Matt Thompson
Starring: Matt Thompson, Kimberly Alexander, Jesse Kristofferson, Gina Comparetto, Christopher Frontiero, Grainger Hines, Zahn McClarnon, Michael Reinero
Matt Thompson has written, directed and starred in “Bloodline,” the first theatrical release for Osiris Entertainment. If you’ve read my interviews with Thompson and Christopher Frontiero, you’ll know that this film has a lot going for it–not only is it the first theatrical release for Osiris, but it’s also a film that gives back to Thompson’s hometown of Sacramento, California (the film will be shown in the city’s Regal Cinemas). To me, the film will be awesome for Sacramento to see what one of their favorite sons has produced, since the film is a slow-burning and engrossing film.
“Bloodline” follows Brett Ethos (Thompson), a man studying to become a man of the cloth. His past is fueling his decision to study religion, but soon he comes to realize that his past will do even more to affect his future once his friends decide to go to his family’s secluded cabin. Once in the woods, the evil that haunts Brett’s family line comes for him and his friends and Brett must find a way to stop it.
I like that the film takes its time to set up the characters. What makes me really love a horror/thriller film is when the film takes the time to build up the characters so that they act like real people. I feel that the characters in “Bloodline” do act like a real group of friends, which made their fates even more distressing. The scene in which the friends are driving to the cabin seems delightfully unrehearsed, showing that the cast really did get along off set as well as on. This chemistry allows the actors to really dig into the horror of the story. When they’re frightened and worried about each other’s safety, you feel it too. When they’re trying to escape, you feel the tension.
The minor quibble I have is that we don’t really get a good set-up for Zahn McClarnon’s character, Jack. Thankfully, the character isn’t really a “mystical Native American” stereotype and his insight about the curse is valuable to Brett and the audience, but his character is more of a vehicle for exposition. I would have liked to have seen more of Jack threaded throughout the film so we could get an even greater sense of someone understanding these mysterious woods and the curse.
The ending is also something that leaves you scratching your head, but in a more “I need to think about this for a while” way than a bad way. It’s an ending that leaves you with more questions than answers. However, I imagine that if there’s a sequel to “Bloodline,” we’ll get some of those questions answered.
Overall, I found “Bloodline” to be an enjoyable film. Perhaps there might be enough blood and guts for some horror fans, but this film is more along the lines of “thriller” than anything else. If you like characterization and slow build-up, then you’ll like “Bloodline.”
Written by Monique Jones