At its core, Blood Hunters (directed by Tricia Lee) is a story about redemption. Let me be honest, I found this review very difficult to do. BH is not a bad film by any means, but it seems like it sometimes struggles to find it’s footing — and the reason is that there are so many things going on and so many elements to the film. Each character is complicated and has a rich background; there is a drug addicted single mother, Ellie, struggling with being lost in an unfamiliar environment and longing to re-unite with her son (played well by Lara Gilchrist); there is Henry (Benjamin Arthur), a man who is struggling with new found abilities and desperate to find companionship in Ellie, lost together in this place. Then we throw in wild card Marion (played by Torri Higginson), a tech savvy paranoid woman with ties to the place they are all entrapped within. Mark Taylor plays George, a mysterious nurse of sorts who seems to know more than he is saying when we meet him. Finally, we have Father Stewart (Julian Richings) who seems to believe the events unfolding are God’s wishes and quickly becomes unhinged.
Our hero — or hero by default — in the movie is Ellie. She is a single mother to her son, Hunter (Samuel Faraci), and a heroin addict. After sending her son off to school, she shoots up and blacks out. After this event is where our tale really unfolds.
Ellie awakens strapped to a gurney and disoriented. As she comes to she finds another surprise — she’s pregnant…but with what? She makes her way through the facility and meets Henry – a man who also does not know where he is and has no memory of how he got there. After some hesitation, they team up to find out what’s going on.
We meet all of the aforementioned characters shortly, beginning with Marion, who seems to know a lot about the facility and has a knowledge of the layout and computer system. As events unfold, we meet the other characters George and Father Stewart. George seems to have some medical knowledge and an understanding of the “experiments” going on. Father Stewart seems slightly off and reclusive.
Through George we learn there are experiments going on…and both Henry and Ellie are test subjects. There are creatures wandering throughout the facility and their only weakness is light, which is in short supply to our group. It turns out the doctors in the facility have been experimenting with life and death, resulting in the birth of these creatures. The rest of the story unfolds as Ellie and the survivors struggle to escape their prison and defeat the creatures. How long will they be survivors and not victims? You’ll have to watch it to find out.
The cinematography in the film is decent. There are a few well executed cuts and closeups to pull the viewer in. While I was happy to see the heavy use of practical effects with less reliance on CGI, I felt that they were not very well executed. It could certainly have been due to budget restraints, but they don’t have the bite I wish they did. The sets themselves were well crafted and thought out, and the different lighting used throughout the film was nice to see.
Overall, I think Blood Hunters is a solid 4/10. I really enjoyed the concept and story of the film, and the actors seemed to give it their best given the script and by no means phoned it in. I would have liked to see the story paced a bit quicker and some grittier creature effects, but it’s definitely worth a watch — and I’m curious to see what else Tricia Lee’s company “A Film Monkey Production, Inc.”, comes up with in the future.
If you want to know what happens when you tamper with life and death, see Blood Hunters.
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