Hulu, just when I thought you were slacking on the horror releases, you sneak in this gem. If it weren’t for Sharai Bohannon I might have missed Blood streaming in addition to being available on VOD.
Brad Anderson (The Call, The Machinist) breathes life into Blood, a horror thriller whose horror elements sort of take a backseat to the dynamic story of a mother and child in turmoil. Hear me out. I have read many a review on this film and have watched it twice. I really enjoyed it. Yes, we are going to discuss this modern vampire take on an old, “what would you do to save your child” story.
Written by Will Honley, we see a mother, Jess (Michelle Monaghan), 15 months clean from a prescription drug dependency and newly separated, moving into an old, family farmhouse with her two children. First of all, Monaghan is outstanding in this role. She is giving. I was lost in her exhaustion, her desperation, and grief. The children, Owen and Tyler (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong and Skylar Morgan Jones, respectively) give excellent performances. After Owen is bit by his dog, he becomes afflicted with a strange illness that will ultimately take his life, unless Mom can do something about it.
Herein lies the dilemma of the film. Momma Jess has missed out on her kids’ lives while her husband Patrick (Skeet Ulrich) turned to the nanny for comfort, and a new baby of course. We’ve seen it a million times and I honestly lived for these Lifetime movies of yesteryear. She works long shifts as a nurse, her kids had the best of their father’s time, stability in his home, and she has to start from scratch. You can see the worry and concern on her face, she is being judged, and she is on her own. What happens? It could happen to any of us, an accident. The dog runs off on her property, returns in a rabid state, and attacks Owen.
We blame the mother for not keeping an eye on the kid and lose focus on what is really happening here. Owen is dying. From the point of attack, we as the viewer know that this isn’t a happily ever after story. What outcome could we expect and honestly, we are just watching disaster unfold. Our darling child is changing, he’s creepy and scaring the shit out of his sister and mother. But Mom isn’t going to lose her child without a fight. I love her.
This is my kind of family movie. I am rooting for Mom and they had me hating on Skeet Ulrich… Skeet Ulrich! Vampire twists, spooky trees, Cujo dog, murder perhaps? For a woman who watches nothing but horror, I love that the genre is expanding in all directions. Head to Hulu and hit play on Blood now!