Here for Blood - FrightFest Glasgow International Premiere Review
Director: Daniel Turres
Starring: Shawn Roberts, Maya Misalijevic, Joelle Farrow, Tara Spencer-Nairn
Written by: James Roberts
Produced by: Christian Turres, Daniel Turres, Jacob Windatt
Cinematography by: Renato Villas
Original Score by: Norman Orenstein
What starts off as a quiet night of pizza and video games quickly spirals into bloody, violent chaos as Tom and Grace find themselves fighting for their lives when an otherworldly cult of masked intruders descend on the home.
The world of wrestling in recent years has been shunned by popular culture, but in the late 90’s/early 00’s, it was the shit. High octane action, badass characters, blood drenched matches and more boobs than the 10-minute Freeview preview. People loved stars like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker and (my personal hero) Shawn Michaels. When sports entertainment became less popular over the years (it was easy to see why people loved the early stuff whether they knew it or not) fans were in love with well-acted storylines and plot threads that would play out for months, if not years.
Many wrestlers have taken the leap from the ring to the big screen with varying success. For every good John Cena or Dave Bautista movie we get, we equally have 5 more bad Hulk Hogan films. What I’m getting at is that wrestling can be as interesting as any popular HBO high drama, but big body mass doesn’t always equal big talent when it comes to the big screen.
In ‘Here for Blood’, wrestler Tom O'Bannon (Shawn Roberts) covers his girlfriend's babysitting duties for a night. Little does he know that the house he’s staying in is ground zero for a satanic cult. It’s very clear from the beginning that the director Daniel Turres is a fan of 80’s horror films, hair metal bands and the stereotypical action hunk. Films like ‘Trick or Treat’ (1986) and ‘Black Roses’ are obvious influences, but I can also see a touch of ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Evil Dead 2’. Now, saying all that, it doesn’t mean it lives up to the quality of those films. ‘Here for Blood’ is rough at times with its storytelling. Scenes are often over lit; most shots are wide for coverage and the script could have been improved with a more accomplished writer.
Shawn Roberts, famous for playing Wesker in the ‘Resident Evil’ films, does a decent job as our main hero. He isn’t given much and because the film goes through a poorly handled tonal change about 30 minutes in, Roberts character goes from being a tough, take no shit bodyguard to an Ash Williams type, with some badly written one-liners. The tonal change I speak of happening is welcome. The first 30 minutes felt like your average low budget stalker film. It then changes into something much wackier and it becomes much easier to accept the film’s shortcomings. Most of the practical effects are great in theory and with a bigger budget could have been incredible. They’re fun, don’t get me wrong, but it becomes distracting when you recognise some props from your local costume shop.
Now, it may seem like I have been quite negative but the movie is extremely charming. It’s not trying to be a big Blumhouse type horror. It’s cheap and scrappy, willing to give the fans gallons of blood to please fans of trashy horror. If the running time was a little shorter and some scenes were tighter editing wise, I could see this becoming a midnight movie favourite. If the idea of a talking skull that looks like the head statue from ‘Art Attack’, voiced by Dee Snider makes you chuckle, then this movie might be for you. Blood, booze and beefcakes. ‘Here for Blood’ won’t have Hulkamanics running wild but I enjoyed what director Daniel Turres was cookin’.
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- Adam Neeson
'Here For Blood' received its International Premiere at FrightFest Glasgow on Saturday 11th March