Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A fellow named Xavier moves into a home he inherited from a family member. Of course he brings his family, and pretty much all of them start going nuts, seeing weird things- dead people, apparitions, etc.
Is it good movie?
Apparently this film's been touted as one of the best examples of Portuguese horror ever. With that being said, unfortunately I have to wonder the competition it's been up against. Bad Blood isn't exactly the worst flick I've ever seen, but man it was not for me.
I'm all for psychological horror, but I believe that it really has to lead you into something eventful. It needs to provide you with a few morsels to nibble on along the way and essentially keep you interested enough to care about what happens in the end. I suppose a nice way of putting this would be to say that Bad Blood is a "tension builder", a "slow burn" pot-boiler that will really leave you wondering, well..when something's going to happen.
Essentially, 95% of the film is dialogue driven and just ungodly slow. There's plenty of talk about local legends, myths and superstition. Don't mistake me, the character development of the good Doctor and his family is stellar, and rich. I'm all for character development, in fact I'm a huge proponent in favour of it and think it's necessary to making a great horror film. Unlike most flicks though, this one has a ton of development and damn near no payoff. No questions are answered. Along the way, you'll have so many questions that are hinted at throughout the film and these aren't just trivial ones, but really important issues regarding incest, fathering illegitimate children, and etc.
Finally, the ending of Bad Blood leaves SO much to be desired. Instead of a tense atmosphere that brings everything to a head, you get a quiet, ho-hum solution that makes the whole film essentially a waste of time. Too bad, because there's some real potential with a bit more spice.
Video / Audio
Video comes in the form of anamorphic widescreen, and is a clean transfer that is a bit dark at times and could use a bit of cleaning up, makes the film look old.
Audio is the industry standard Dolby 5.1 and sounds terrific.
The real meat here comes from the Making Of featurette which is pretty standard stuff, although the cast and crew seem adamant in calling this film a very different kind of horror movie- they really don't like "horror" movies. I can see why the film turned out the way it did, that explains a lot.
Other than that, you get a trailer.
Bad Blood isn't awful, it's just a letdown. The right person could certainly enjoy this movie, if they're not too discriminating and don't suffer from insomnia. You might dig it more than I did, but for my money it just didn't pack enough punch, character development alone does not a good film make.