As the credits started to roll during “Blood Conscious,” all I could think was here is a movie that just tried to do too much. Creepy movie set in the secluded woods with a lake? Check. Possible demon possessions? Check. Dumb people in a horror movie? Check. Movie trying to make a social statement? Check. Cheeky one-liners? Check. Ending that isn’t really an ending but tries to force you to make your own conclusions? Check.
The problem? It didn’t really do any of them well. Bummer.
Yup, “Blood Conscious” opens with a group of people, a young brother (Kevin, played by Oghenero Gbaje), older sister (Brittney, played by DeShawn White), and the fiancé of Britney (Tony, played by Lenny Thomas) in a car. Driving down deserted forest roads, they are on the way to a family gathering at the secluded cabins in the woods.
Upon arrival they stumble upon everyone murdered, and of course, none of them thinks to immediately call the police. Uh oh, here comes a dude with the shotgun (The Stranger, played by Nick Damici), who asks, “Are you humans, or are you demons?” “We’re on vacation,” is the reply.
And, so, every classic horror film things starts to happen. They escape from The Stranger, they catch The Stranger, The Stranger might be dead, they keep splitting up, and rather than try to make it to town during daylight, they hang around murder-ville until it’s dark and decide maybe a visit to town might be a good idea, but only if they split up.
Goodness, how are they going to survive the night? I know, start drinking beer in the fridge!
And when you think things are calming down, let’s bring in some mysterious lady, Margie (Lori Hammel)!
With Margie we really begin to get the “social statement” because, well, our trio is black and Margie is not. Up until this point it really didn’t matter, and it was better that way with them just being normal, stupid people in a horror movie. Instead, now, we’ll try for some obligatory Margie questioning Kevin for going through her purse well, because he is black and if our trio were white, well, I suppose Margie would be okay with it. Also, they are all in the middle of a mass murder, and Margie is somehow worried about how she is treated by “you people.”
Yea, things are completely messed up, dawn arrives, and rather than take the roads to town our heroes decide to use the rowboat to get across the lake. I won’t ruin the best part of the movie, but that happens when our folks stumble upon some townsfolk, and the question is asked “What are you?”
Yup, you come up with your own ending!
Man, “Blood Conscious” just seemed like a movie where Timothy Covell, the writer and director, tried too hard. The fact that the “heroes” in the movie were black didn’t really matter until the film folks made a fuss about it. I would have preferred they just be dumb, horror movie people, as most horror movie people are. There is also a point where the stupidity just needs to end with heads being blown off or limbs being dismembered. That didn’t happen as you are supposed to eventually wonder if our heroes are, in fact, possessed and are now demons. The cheesy one-liners weren’t that cheesy, I wasn’t ever in suspense, and at the end of the day, for me, “Blood Conscious” gets 2 stars out of 5.
I wanted to like the movie more since the look of the movie was pretty good, and Oghenero Gbaje did some nice acting, but horror movies don’t always need to have a social message, just make them scary and bloody, or at least suspenseful and funny.
That’s it for this one! L8R!!