BLOOD HUNTERS (FrightFest 2016)

PrintE-mail Written by Jonathan Anderson

Junkie Ellie (Gilchrist) wakes up in hospital after collapsing outside her house. Only, she’s now nine months pregnant (she wasn’t before) and something very bad seems to have happened inside the hospital. She finds Henry (Arthur), a man chained to his bed in a quarantined section. They soon realise they’re not alone as strange, pale creatures are lurking in the darkness, and they have a fondness for blood…

Blood Hunters is an imaginative movie, not merely about monsters but exploring mortality, morality, the decisions we make, and just what lurks on the ‘other side’. Classic techniques are used to good effect – not revealing too much of the monsters, moments of dark humour for comic relief, little clues as to what’s going on (you know when you see ‘cocoon phase’ on a medical record something’s not quite right). Other characters are gradually introduced, including a hard-line priest (horror’s gentleman Julian Richings), and there’s a strong focus on how they interact and why they make the decisions that they do.

Unfortunately, the acting can be disjointed at times, while the end is a bit prolonged, with themes of sacrifice and redemption being overly drawn out. However, it has some classic moments – one involving a spatula and another that’s reminiscent of Prometheus. The film might appeal to fans of Flatliners, Pandorum and Event Horizon as a lower-budget, Canadian mix of all three.

It’s a solid feature – another example of the strong creative work coming out of Toronto – and definitely worth a watch.

BLOOD HUNTERS / DIRECTOR: TRICIA LEE / SCREENPLAY: COREY BROWN / STARRING: LARA GILCHRIST, BENJAMIN ARTHUR, TORRI HIGGINSON, MARK TAYLOR, JULIAN RICHINGS
 


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