Blooded

"Very Good"

Blooded Review


Layers of doc and drama make this film intriguing but not hugely involving, partly because it gives away the ending and partly because we're put at such a distance from the action. But it does get us thinking about the issues it raises.

While on holiday on the Isle of Mull, a group of five hunters is attacked by anti-hunting activists who videotape their assault. Each is stripped to their underwear and left in an isolated landscape, then hunted like animals. Their main target is a high-profile hunting advocate. As the five (Best, Dexter, McDermott, Calthorpe and Duncan-Brewster) are interviewed, actors (Ashdon, Tennant, Boot, Kloska and Ifeachor) play them in a re-creation of their harrowing ordeal.

There are a couple of obvious problems: since we see most of the characters being interviewed, we know they will survive. And since it's actors re-enacting the hunt, we know that the people we are watching are only pretending to be in danger. These two things filter out any real suspense or participation in the story, although at least we can still identify with the terrified reactions these people have to what happens. And there are some scenes along the way that are genuinely scary.

It helps that Boase directs the film with sharp skill. The setting is shot with swooping aerial camerawork that vividly conveys the isolation of this dramatic island, and the more action-oriented sequences have a real sense of tension to them. Kate Reid's lush cinematography and Ilan Eshkeri's robust score give the film a blockbuster tone, even though this is a micro-budget independent film.

And the cast is very good at capturing the emotions that these events raise.

Performances in the re-enactments feel slightly overwrought, but that's just about right.

Along the way, the interaction between the characters is what engages us.

There's a recently separated couple with very different feelings toward each other, brothers who are both competitive and protective, an American girlfriend caught in unexpected horror, best friends pushed to the brink. And while the political element of the story feels underdeveloped, the sense of life's fragility is pretty intense. And the film's most memorable moment teaches us that a split-second can make all the different.



Blooded

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st April 2011

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 4.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Edward Boase

Producer: Nick Ashdon

Starring: Nick Ashdon as Lucas Bell, as Lucas Bell, Oliver Boot as Charlie Bell, Mark Dexter as Charlie Bell, Tracy Ifeachor as Eve Jourdan, Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Eve Jourdan, Joseph Kloska as Ben Fitzpatrick, Adam Best as Ben Fitzpatrick, Cicely Tennant as Liv Scott, Isabella Calthorpe as Liv Scott, Jay Taylor as Activist

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