By David Mayne
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Henry Cavill, Michael Fassbender, Wentworth Miller (cameo)
Directed By Joel Schumacher
As a glutton for cinematic punishment, I put myself through many late night horror debacles. Sordid tales of midnight bloodbaths, crazed serial killers, and unlucky travelers joined ATM at the whim of sadistic mad-scientists!
Why, oh why, do I keep at it? It’s not like there’s nothing else to do, right? Video games, website work, write music, sleep (yeah, I said it). There are a million other things to do besides watching super-cheesy attempts at the genre they call “horror”, so what keeps me coming back, night after night like a hungry cat?
Horror is like pizza, and maybe some of you will get what I’m saying on this one. If you don’t, sorry, tough crackers. Horror is like pizza: there is really GOOD horror, the kind that you can count on, the kind that you go out of your way to get. You tell your friends about it, you crave it when you can’t have it, and you know exactly how you like it.
Again, horror is like pizza: There can be really BAD horror. You know it’s bad, your friends know it’s bad, EVERYONE knows it’s bad. Thing is, you still do it, especially when you can’t get the GOOD stuff, because you love it so much and at the end of the day, horror is horror, and you’d rather have some than none.
Blood Creek is frozen pizza; it’ll do after a few beers and no open pizza joints at 2am. While not a total failure, Blood Creek is yet another one of the many horror flicks that starts off with a decent idea and impressive visuals, but soon falters and ultimately fails at what it originally set out to do.
Joel Schumacher, having directed his fair share of notorious film-sharts like Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, helms Blood Creek with a half-assed approach in my opinion. Although Schumacher does have some diamonds in the rough padding his portfolio (The Lost Boys, Falling Down, 8mm, and Tigerland), he seems to have a peculiar knack for developing his stories to a certain point, leveling them out, and then nosediving them into complete drivel. More than once, I’ve watched a Schumacher film and thought that he would be on to something if he directed the 1st half of a film, then handed it off to another, more capable director to finish.
Blood Creek starts off well enough. The year is 1936 and a German/American family living on a farm in West Virginia are contacted by the Nazi government, requesting that they allow an esteemed scientist to stay at their home, in exchange for money. Being relatively poor, the family agrees, and Professor Richard Wirth comes to live with them, although his motives for doing so are pretty unclear. It soon becomes evident that Professor Wirth’s motives are less than exemplary as we are flash-forwarded to modern-day. Evan Marshall (Cavill), an EMT who also cares full-time for his father with Alzheimer’s, is constantly troubled over the disappearance of his brother, Victor (Purcell), who went missing during a camping trip to West Virginia. When Victor suddenly reappears one evening and convinces Evan to load-up and come with him, Blood Creek turns into a pretty interesting descent into some really unsettling territory. Returning to seek vengeance on his “captors”, Victor leads Evan to the rural farm in West Virginia where the Wollner family lived long ago, and what unfurls is actually pretty interesting…to a point.
While the acting is hit and miss for 99% of the movie, Blood Creek does indeed succeed in creating a creepy atmosphere and story. As with most Schumacher films however, the potential of what could have been is slowly eroded away into a final 45 minutes that you simply won’t care about. It’s bad when the end of a movie has me so uninterested that I toy with the idea of turning it off. Not because it’s bad, per se, but because it’s become so cliché and predictable that I can literally save 45 minutes of my life by doing something else, while not really “missing” anything about the movie.
I like Dominic Purcell, and Emma Booth (who plays the Wollner’s daughter, Liese) is also pretty good. The biggest flaw though is Purcell’s Prison Break stigma; he looks 100% dead-on like Lincoln Burrows, sweat stains included. As such, it’s hard to really settle-in to the atmosphere of the film for too long without imaging Link The Sink running and gunning through the whole movie. It’s not that he’s bad, it’s just that you’d think Schumacher would have made him grow some hair, or at least wear a different outfit.
All in all, Blood Creek is a halfway decent horror flick that takes one part vampire movie, one part zombie flick, and 20 parts cliché bloodbath, culminating into what ended as a lazy, hurried finale that didn’t really satisfy. Leave it to Schumacher to try to blend Nazis, vampires, and zombies. What’s next, nipples on a bat suit?
2.5 out of 5