Written by: Daniel Hadley
Directed by: Adam Mason
Cast: Andrew Howard, Tess Panzer, Ian Duncan
Director Adam Mason is an independent film maker I have kept an eye on ever since I saw his second feature The Devils Chair, which was a movie that took a turn in the last ten minutes and ripped the horror genre to pieces, so when I heard about Blood River my expectation were high which more often than not leads to disappointment but when the credits rolled and took breath for what seemed like the first time since the movie began I knew I had witnessed something truly special, what Adam Mason achieves with a limited budget, tiny cast and seemingly simple story is astounding.
Movies like Blood River are the reason I love the horror genre, it twists and contorts in premise into something truly unique, it’s a true testament to what independent cinema is capable of, to put it bluntly ‘I love this film’. The setup is simple enough, a married couple, Summer and Clark played perfectly by Tezz palmer and Ian Duncan are travelling cross country to let their family know they’re expecting their first child, low and behold they have a blow out and are forced to take refuge in abandoned town and it’s here where they run in to a drifter name Joseph played with Ferocious intensity by Andrew Howard, his performance in this film cannot be understated its incredible, so at first all is going well despite some hostility between Clark and Joseph they agree to help each other and it’s here where everything takes a turn and what a turn it takes.
Early in the movie we are shown what Joseph is capable of so his appearance in the town leads to a sense of unease, he’s like a ticking time bomb and the tension slowly builds and builds until every just explodes in way that I never expected, now if the movie had played out as I expected it would still have been a descent film, as often as I have seen the plot of a couple or say a group of friends breaking down in the middle of nowhere only to run into a deranged killer, it can still make a good film if done well, But fortunately that’s not where this film is headed, Joseph is not what he first appears and his intention run far deeper than mere lunacy, to go into the plot any further would reveal too much and it’s the way this film slowly unravels and its secrets are revealed that make it such a great film.
It’s hard for me to find anything wrong with this movie but I suppose if I were to nitpick there are couple of lines that maybe didn’t quite fit and came across as a little hockey but that’s just goes to show how strong the rest of the writing is that these very minor instances stand out in contrast to what is an otherwise fantastic script, the movie is very dialogue heavy and all three actors deliver the goods and they deliver it in spades, Tezz palmer in particular shows incredible range as her character is forced head first through a gamut of emotional turmoil and incredibly and unthinkable situations.
The movie also looks fantastic you would never know you were watching a low budget movie, the camera work and visuals rivals that of any big budget horror I‘ve seen, there’s one aerial shot in particular near the end of the movie that’s is just stunning, it’s hard for me to find a fault with this film everything is just so pitch perfect from the performances the a great musical score, this movie has every right to be considered a classic of the genre.