Bloodline (2019)

For Evan, family comes first. He is ready to go to extremes to make sure of that for his family and that of others. As things evolve, it becomes clear that this is something in his blood.

Written by Avra Fox-Lerner, Will Honley, and Henry Jacobson, and directed by Jacobson, Bloodline is a sort of vigilante by way of family drama film that takes its time to develop even though it opens on a woman having her throat cut open while naked. The film is a slow burn of sort that takes its time to advance while the viewer knows who the killer is. This study of the killer in a nature versus nurture way is something that is interesting to watch but a bit low on thrills. The story and direction feel like they are meant to be for a drama, while the marketing was very much that of a horror movie. This leads to expectation of a film about a serial killer and the end of product being more about family dynamics and the concept of nature versus nurture. Here it mostly works once the expectations of a more straight forward horror film are over with. As a family drama with some strong horror elements, it works and it’s a decently entertaining film. It does however feel a bit like it drags in some spots and the first twist is fairly easy to see coming. As a whole, the story is good, but something feels like it’s missing.

Playing the lead of Evan is Seann William Scott playing a character is more intelligent than what most associate with him by now. That being said, he does really good work with the part and proves that he has more to offer than some might expect. He is the lead of the film and does great with being the center of attention and giving a mostly cold performance which is rather fitting. The little burst of low key emotions come off more important in comparison and give his character layers and depth. Working alongside him are Mariela Garriga as Lauren, Evan’s wife, and Dale Dickey as Marie, Evan’s mom. Both of them are great to watch and do some good work with their smaller, yet impactful parts. They are clearly both talented and could have stolen the show had they been given just a bit more screen time. The supporting cast, while fairly small, does well with their time and parts.

The music here is by Trevor Gureckis and is decent while feeling like something that has been heard before as synthwave is starting to become heavily overused in horror these last few years. As the current seemingly go-to music for lower budget horror films wanting to feel arthouse and hip, this style is ok, but people who are lukewarm or just blah on this music genre, it won’t add much to the feel and will even feel like it’s a bit in the way of the story.

Notable are the special effects by Josh and Sierra Russell who go great work with the opening throat cutting and subsequent kills. Their work is gooey, juicy, bloody goodness. A few more set piece of the red stuff would have really brought the film into its own as a more horror than drama film which would have made a big difference.

Bloodline is a decent film that has horror elements but not quite enough to be horrific in and of itself. It’s an good watch as a drama, so it’s not a wasted film. It’s simply not exactly as horror as one would expect so go in with lowered expectations on the scare factor and it should be a good watch.