One of the great things about NewFest is that it doesn't shy away
  from including genre films. Last year, the horror movie
  among the movies screened and it was a crowd-pleaser. This year,
  the thriller
IN THE BLOOD falls into that category. While it does contain
  elements of a coming out tale, that aspect is handled in a clever manner
  integral to the plot. Writer-director Lou Peterson (who graduated from
  Columbia University's prestigious film school) exhibits a great deal of
  skill and talent and this film demonstrates he should have a bright future.

          IN THE BLOOD concerns college senior Cassidy Clarke (a
  star-making turn by New York stage actor Tyler Hanes) who begins
  experiencing nosebleeds accompanied by disturbing visions. That
  this tends to happen when he's in the company of attractive guys disturbs
  the conflicted jock. His younger sister Jessica (the attractive and
  skilled James Katharine Flynn) has arrived on campus as a freshman, just
  as a string of murders of young co-eds is occurring. Jessica has dabbled
  in the occult -- indeed the family seems to have been blessed or cursed
  with a "gift" of sorts -- and after a tarot card reading Jessica is a bit
  unnerved. It doesn't help that she fits the profile of the murder victims.
  Are Cassidy's visions tied to the murders? Where does Jessica fit in?
  And what of Cassidy's best bud Mike (Robert Dionne) who has developed
  an interest in Jessica? And who is the mysterious woman (Alison Fraser)
  appearing suddenly on campus?

          Peterson's screenplay offers intriguing explanations and includes
  the requisite MacGuffins that keep the audience guessing. He has found
  strong actors for the roles, and he directs with a sure hand. Special
  mention has to be made of Sacha Gordon's atmospheric score which
  enhances the film without overpowering it.
IN THE BLOOD was one of
  the best entries at this year's NewFest. Lou Peterson. Remember that
  name.  He's definitely one to watch.

                           Rating:                B +

©  2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
In the Blood