Blood Born (2021) Review
The script for Blood Born wants to tap into some of the deepest and most primal of human fears and instincts. The desire to have children and the fears of the complications that come with pregnancy. To say nothing of the changes it will bring to one’s life. Anyone who has been through it knows just how scary it can be. Especially if you’ve been through it before and it ended badly.
From The Bad Seed and Rosemary’s Baby to The Omen, and It’s Alive to Anything for Jackson films have played on the desire to have children. Even the plot of the dinosaur film Hatched has its roots in the quest for parenthood at any cost. Can Blood Born capture those fears and give them a supernatural twist? Or will the film’s scares be stillborn?
Makayla (Rosie Moss, Tabloid Vivant) and Eric (Antoine Perry, Voodoo Macbeth) want to be parents, but four miscarriages have shattered their hopes and left them desperate. How desperate? Desperate enough to listen when Cherise (Laurine Price, The Veil) talks about her cousin Susan (Leah Verrill, 4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker) who had a baby after a cancer related hysterectomy.
Despite the obvious impossibility of what she claims, the couple take her advice and contact Ola (Melanie Haynes, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). She doesn’t deny that it sounds like magic, in fact she admits that it is magic, and they’ll have a baby within a month. Which would be any sane person’s cue to run and not look back.
I admit that at this point, Blood Born was seriously testing my ability to suspend my disbelief. Not so much because of the supernatural angle, that’s normal for genre films. But a seemingly rational couple buying into it without questions? Or not having second thoughts once they have to start sacrificing animals? That certainly sounds like the way to end up bearing a child from hell, literally.
Melanie Haynes helps greatly with her performance as Ola. She’s charming and convincing enough that it becomes at least somewhat believable that a desperate couple would buy into her claims. Of course, having seen the prologue, we know she’s anything but benevolent, which makes her performance all the more impressive.
Writer/director Reed Shusterman says he wrote Blood Born while he and his wife were trying to conceive, and that he channelled his own fears into the script. While that must have been good therapy, one can only imagine what kinds of methods they were using, especially as the plot begins to turn from somewhat silly to much darker.
The last act does feature some creepy moments, helped along by the claustrophobic atmosphere created by almost exclusive use of interior settings, usually Makayla and Eric’s house. Unfortunately it’s a bit predictable, and you’ll be able to guess what’s going on and how it all ends about the time the Men in Black style goons show up. That’s if Dr. Zekeny (Cole Gerdes, Out of Time) and his odd availability hasn’t already.
In the end, Blood Born is watchable, but it’s hardly essential viewing. If the filmmakers had been able to show a little bit more of what was going on in the last few minutes the film may have had a bit more impact. But the lack of budget didn’t allow for the effects that would have taken. It might be more effective if you’re pregnant, but otherwise it’s something to kill time with and not much more.
Terror Films will release Blood Born to Digital on July 16th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information.