One of the great things about NewFest is that it doesn't shy away
from including genre films. Last year, the horror movie HELLBENT was
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