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Review: BLOOD MYTH (2019)

Britain has a long tradition of scary folk tales, and as a natural result, folk horror. Films like The Wicker Man, The Blood On Satan’s Claw and Lord Of Tears all come to mind right away. Lately, though, it’s been films from other countries carrying on that tradition. Films like The Witch and Midsommar. Writer/directors Sean Brown and Luke Gosling are trying to change that with Blood Myth. Can it compete with these other films? Is it at least better than the pile of awful genre stuff flooding out of the UK lately?

James Lincoln (Jonathan McClean) is a journalist who’s not happy with his job. He’s been given the task of covering local tales of ghosts, UFOs, etc. He doesn’t believe in such things, and he feels this is a waste of his time and talents. His editor Claire (Charlie Walker McClimens), with whom he’s had an affair she at least wishes hadn’t ended, says she can’t transfer him.

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Things start to look a bit better when he hears of “The Thirty”. Every thirty years there’s an unexplained disappearance in a small rural town, and this is year thirty. Thinking it’ll make a nice weekend getaway for himself and his pregnant fiancé Harriet (Anna Dawson, Book Of Monsters, The Creature Below) he decides to do a piece on it. This proves to be a bad idea when he wakes up to find her missing without a trace.

Now, with the help of a local woman Alexandra (Hannah Chalmers, Containment) he must race against time to find her. Before she becomes the latest victim of “The Thirty”.

First of all, Blood Myth is much better than recent British films like Annabellum: The Curse Of Salem and The Mummy Reborn. It has a plot, actors who can actually act, and some talent behind the camera as well. The script has an interesting setup. We get a nice mix of locations as James does interviews for his stories and his opinions on the supernatural and those who claim to encounter it. And his introduction to Herg and its inhabitants builds the suspense.

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Unfortunately, things start to drag after Harriet disappears. James’ interactions with the police, etc. are dull and rather plodding. Thankfully, it picks back up as he and Alexandra find themselves in the midst of something very sinister. Things get bloody and fairly grim by the time Blood Myth is over. The use of blue and red lighting effects helps build a feeling of unreality and unease.

On the other hand, the dialogue in Blood Myth is rather stilted. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but the characters frequently sound like they stepped out of an old novel. The archaic words and grammar sounded off and unnatural. If it was an attempt to tie into the old origins of The Thirty, it didn’t work.

The ending of Blood Myth leaves as much unanswered as it does answer. I think Brown and Gosling were going for a Picnic At Hanging Rock, kind of feeling of uncertainty. But it feels a bit clumsy, as though it could be as much they wrote themselves into a corner.

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Regardless, Blood Myth does deliver a fair amount of chills and atmosphere. This is Brown and Gosling’s first feature, with only a short before it. They certainly seem full of potential and I’ll be watching for their next film.

High Octane Pictures will release Blood Myth November 5th. You can check for updates on the film’s Facebook page.

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