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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Review: Blood Craft

Director: James Cullen Bressack
Screenplay: James Cullen Bressack and Madeline Wade
Year: 2019

Synopsis: Two sisters who suffered abuse as children at the hands of their sadistic father decide, after his death, to use witchcraft to bring his spirit back to get revenge.

In the first minutes of “Blood Craft”, we get to know our protagonist Grace, interpreted by Madeleine Wade (“For Jennifer”), who also created the story of this movie. Not much time goes by before we realize that Grace is living an unhappy and unfulfilling life and that this goes beyond her current profession as an adult entertainer. Once she gets the news of her father’s passing, Grace decides to go back to the house where she grew up and there she reunites with her sister Serena, interpreted by Augie Duke (“Bad Kids go to Hell”), whit whom she had lost communication a long time ago. Once in the house, a rollercoaster of emotions is unleashed as Grace and Serena remember the horrible abuses they endured from their father when they were children.

The first half hour of this movie is a slow burn and its only purpose is to develop the characters and the plot. In these minutes, besides the two sisters, we get to know their father, interpreted by Dave Sheridan (“Scary Movie”) as well as Tyler Waters, an old acquaintance interested in acquiring the house the two sisters inherited, interpreted by Michael Welch (“The Final Wish”). Since these first scenes, it is obvious that a lot of effort was put into creating a dark ambient, achieved by some clever lighting and shots and making good use of dark colors and red tones.

The story continues to be developed until it reaches the point in which the sisters decide to use witchcraft to bring back their father’s soul and get revenge for the abuses they suffered from him. Here I felt that this moment came by too suddenly. Although their motives are understandable, it needed some more development so that it did not feel like an excuse to get there. From here the story starts to pick up on the intensity and several important details are revealed. The most important revelations are done through a mixture of present time, retrospections, and nightmares. This always risks that, if not done correctly, it can affect the rhythm of the movie, but in this case, it was well managed and it keeps the story moving and instead of breaking the rhythm and tension, it enhances it.

One of the most important flaws of this movie is that it is decided to bring some details to attention that might have some importance in developing the personalities of the characters or the plot, but then later they are not developed with the level of detail they required, leaving some of them ambiguous and up for the viewers interpretation. Some of these details, particularly in the first act, could have been omitted as they have little transcendence in the plot.

The best part of this movie is during the final scenes, which become intense and disturbing in the visuals, as well as in the revelations. However, the last plot twist did not take me all by surprise, as if you are paying attention to the development of the plot you can catch some not-so-subtle signals that make you suspect of what happens in the twist before it happens. If these signals had been worked more carefully this twist could have been much more surprising and make the movie end in a much higher note.

“Blood Craft” ends up being a movie that depends on how much the viewers immerses into the story of the two sisters and the abuses they endured, for what I expect that the opinions about this movie will be mixed. In general, the acting is fairly decent and it eases up this process. Even when it fails in some aspects of the development of the plot, it is an entertaining movie and the intensity of the third act in a certain way compensates for this flaws, although the final plot twist did not come up as surprising as how it was intended.

“Blood Craft” will be available in video-on-demand on April 9, 2019 in the United States.

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