A Review by The Mike
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Michael Fassbender, Henry Cavill
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Rated: R for language, violence, domestic abuse, sexual content
Movie Released: 2009
When I spied that Joel Schumacher’s Blood Creek was making its DVD debut this week, I decided I had to say something about it, entirely due to the circumstance of the flick. My local bargain theater was one of the “lucky” ones that received a one-week run during a September dump by Lionsgate Films, and I managed to be one of the few to experience this relatively unknown, yet slickly polished, horror flick.
Blood Creek begins by telling us of Adolf Hitler’s attempts to harness occult powers during his reign of power in the 1940s, and introducing us to a German Officer (Inglorious Basterds’ Michael Fassbender) who comes to a small Virginia farm to try and harness a rare power. After acquiring a blood-sucking power that’s not unlike a vampire’s, the German chap is trapped by the family and the film suddenly jumps ahead to present day. After a family subplot is quickly resolved, two brothers (Prison Break’s Dominic Purcell and Stardust’s Henry Cavill) end up at the farm, which is still being terrorized by the undead Nazi blood-sucker. Purcell’s character seems to have been a part of some experimenting done by said sucker (I’m unsure if anyone told him the War ended, unfortunately), and the story unfolds from there.
If you’re a little lost in that description, you’re not alone. Blood Creek is a muddled film, which many have attributed to a “butchering” of the script by Schumacher during production. There are plenty of loose ends and slightly explained occurrences throughout the film, and I recall scratching my head while trying to make connections often. The actors don’t do much to help with this, as they shift through the dim setting quickly and never seem to have a full understanding of what they’re trying to say either.
I’ve never been a member of the lynch mob that’s still after Schumacher based on his Batman films, and I actually enjoy a majority of the films I’ve seen from him. And in his defense, Blood Creek is a very good-looking film with heaps of gore and a lot of atmosphere. The villain is very impressive to behold and would definitely terrify me if I ran into it in a back alley, as well. The Nazi ties add to the intrigue of the film early on and really help it become interesting, until the story gets twisted up in itself like I already mentioned.
In total, Blood Creek is a slick bit of horror entertainment at its best and a incomprehensible mess at its worst. If it were a film from a first-time writer/director who’s simply getting his feet wet, I’d probably be forgiving of its faults. But coming from an established Hollywood director, it’s a bit of a disappointment. I won’t condemn the film entirely, as I do think it’s worth a rental based on its atmosphere and original concept, but I find myself sad that the whole thing wasn’t put together more carefully. There was a good movie inside this one, and unfortunately it got lost during the process.