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Christopher Webster [DVD News 01.05.10] movie review dvd horror vampires

Year: 2009
DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010
Directors: Joel Schumacher
Writers: David Kajganich
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 7 out of 10

Don't be fooled by the direct-to-video nature of Blood Creek's release because it doesn't reflect the quality of the film. It's all very silly to be sure, but Michael Fassbender, Dominic Purcell and Henry Cavill elevate this small, locked-in-a-farmhouse vampire yarn with some great performances, while Joel "nipple suit" Schumacher is actually in fine form, delivering what is probably his tightest direction since Tigerland.

The film is also surprisingly cinematic. filmed in glorious 2.35:1 widescreen, cinematographer Darko Suvak wields serious camera skills to make Blood Creek feel a little grander than expected. Definitely not the quick and dirty, b-level horror outing I was expecting from the trailer.

Unfortunately David Kajganich's script killed the rating on this one. While I like how he riffs on vampirism by throwing together Nazis, the occult and a revenge tale (I was totally on board with the first half of the film), the story's main premise contains a major piece of faulty logic that irked me the entire last half of the film. In the interest of keeping the top of this review spoiler-free, I won't reveal it here, but keep reading to discover what about the film's story bugged me enough to drop the rating a whole point.

Consider yourself spoiler warned.

I genuinely love the way Blood Creek kicks things off with a bang. Big brother, Dominic Purcell, has been missing for two years. Younger brother, Henry Cavill, presumes him dead. One night, Purcell reappears. He is hirsute and severely pissed off. Packing up every gun he can find, he grabs little brother and the two head off to get revenge on his kidnappers, a German family who, we find out, are untouched by time.

A quick and bloody showdown erupts. Weaving in and out of the old house's creepy old rooms, it's well shot and intense. What starts as a little human vs. human action though, quickly turns into an all-out fight for survival against the supernatural when a Nazi vampire that is being held captive in the family's basement is let loose. Starting the action mid-story like this and then amping it up is a stroke of genius, but unfortunately here's also where the trouble starts.

According to the family's daughter (played by Emma Booth), she trapped the blood thirsty Nazi occultist in their basement years earlier and has continued to feed him just enough to keep him alive, but not enough that he could become an all powerful being. The twist? They are actually victims of the basement Nazi as well. But, why is the family feeding the vampire at all? Why not just let him starve as soon as they trapped him and be done with it? My theory is that if they killed him, they would break the spell that's keeping them young and they would die. But it's not explained very well in the film and is, in my mind, a major logic flaw. Even though I kept telling myself to "give the fun Nazi vampire flick a break," I just couldn't let it go. Ah well, perhaps it won't bug you guys as much as me.

As I said, the cast is a strong ensemble. Like in Prisoner Break, Purcell plays a great older brother to Cavill, but I wished for a little more background on the two to really solidify the relationship. Fassbender in full freaky make-up is also an OTT treat, and even though he doesn't have much to do but strut around chanting in ancient Austrian or something, he's still truly a force to be reckoned with and I'd really like to see him play more baddies now that his career is blowing up.

My advice: Forget your Schumacher prejudices and check out Blood Creek when it debuts on DVD January 19. If the film was the work of a new name in horror, I think people would be more inclined to get excited, but as it's essentially a low-budget work by a big director no one's really paying any attention. No, the movie won't change your life, but as a fast-paced supernatural survival flick it's sure to entertain for 90 minutes. There's an insane scene with a horse that'll be worth every penny. Just don't let a couple of the films plot inconsistencies irk you.

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Anonymous (12 years ago) Reply

Don't blame the screenwriter on this one. Shumacher kicked him out of the process early and rewrote/simplified/cut a lot of nuanced bits of character and information that would have answered all of your qualms here. What? After what happened with 8MM, do you still think the guy shoots script as they were written?


Chad Law (12 years ago) Reply

Very few shoot scripts how they're written. It's unfortunate more often than not. I read the script for BLOOD CREEK back in the day and thought it was better than the movie, yes. That said, I caught the movie at a little 2 dollar theater in Indianapolis and enjoyed it quite a bit. It's silly, yes. But enjoyably silly.


Anonymous (12 years ago) Reply

It's just irritating when people who write about movies like this don't seem to understand even the basics about film development and production. A blanket statement like: "Unfortunately, Kajganich's script killed the rating on this one," just comes across as completely rookie, given that the information is out there that he and Schumacher had a falling out, etc.


Hot Fuzz (12 years ago) Reply

Until the Kajganich fan who read the original script explains away the "faulty logic" agentorange mentions in the review the comment is valid.

Obviously films change through production and I'm sure the reviewer knows this. I hate to say it, but screenwriters should get used to sharing the blame for bad decisions and stop acting like martyrs.


Anonymous (12 years ago) Reply

Hot Fuzz, what if I edited you last comment and added a bunch of misspellings, deleted some important words, and then added several grammatical mistakes. Would you "share the blame" for that?

Anyway, I'll correct the "faulty logic." In Kajganich's script, the family's decision not to try to kill Wirth themselves is that they don't exactly know how, and they don't want to fail and inadvertantly unleash him on the world. What they do know is how to keep him contained, so out of a sense of duty, and out of a sense of helplessness, they do that. But they're not complete altruists--they could easily feed Wirth their own blood, but they can't live like that, so they "find" others to do it for them. In the script, they are more together than they are in the film, trying to live as normal a life as possible. It made a lot more sense, and also had interesting subtext about the fallacy of "containment" as a political strategy. All of that got lost in the rewrites by Schumacher.


Shelly Williams Berry (12 years ago) Reply

I have recently seen a few short trailers. I've always wondered if the screenwriter is the one that had it wrong in the first place or if the producer buys the story and %$#^s it up! I gradutated w/this screenwriter and would have to completely agree w/the anonymous post above! Mark my words, you all will be seeing great things from Dave Kajganich:)


Anonymous (12 years ago) Reply

REVIEWER: This film was cut from 111 minutes to 89 BY LIONSGATE. Not Schumacher. Not Kajganich. If some things don't make sense, or if the characters aren't fully fleshed out, wouldn't it make sense to speculate about those missing 22 minutes, instead of assuming the problem is with the director or the script? AMEND YOUR REVIEW AGENTORANGE.


Ernesto (12 years ago) Reply

I like anonymous' approach to Hot Fuzz's comment, so here we go. Hot Fuzz, Remixed:

Until da Kubrick fun who read the orijinal scriptplay explain away the "filthy logic" agentorange used to mention when he was back in freakin highschool, in the rebieu, the, comment, is validation when you park your car?.!

"Obviously" films charge through production (which is the reason they often suck) and I'm sure the reviewer knows this. I love to say it, but screenplayers should get used to sharing the profffit for bad decisions and act like the martyrs they are. Amen.


norseman (12 years ago) Reply

leave it to someone to get rich off nazis as they always do.. this film take gratuities where, when and how; a cryptic norse deity fits into this plot. the name of the deity is not commonly known be it s wildly worshiped. funny but it but fits the nature of horror fiction. the use of old germanic language is a nice touch but knowing it makes the film seem like a sick perverse way to play off the common occultism is American pop culture. this film has less to do with nazism then being a anti-catholic film and highly anti-christian in nature. a deep study of the occult and the roots of the orthodox church would make this movie comedic to the right person. i found this to be a comedy and highly thematic. drop the nazi and norse lingo and banter and you have a black comedy that is ripe in the anti-christian mindset of hollywood.

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