New Horror Releases: Blood Harvest (2017) - Reviewed

Are they vampires, cannibals, sadistic hicks, or something far more sinister? That’s the question in the Northern Ireland horror film Blood Harvest. In the end, the answer doesn’t really matter. Regardless of an M. Night Shyamalan style twist, the film is an extremely difficult viewing experience that tests the viewer’s abilities to suffer through to the big twist ending. 

A serial killer is terrorizing a small Irish community, draining the blood of its victims. A discredited police detective continues to work the case, believing that the killers are vampires. In many way, Blood Harvest is essentially another Texas Chainsaw Massacre clone. It tries to differentiate itself from the seminal franchise by potentially introducing vampires or some other entity into the mix. It fails to work because these killers are not interesting at all, they are actually pretty boring and annoying. The best part of the picture is the police procedural element, which doesn’t come off as completely technically accurate. 

The camera work is a major issue. There is a great deal of shaky cam footage that is hard to watch. It appeared as though they were going for a grindhouse or SOV style of filmmaking and there is degradation and color effects added into the picture. While there were issues of too much shaky cam, there were some decent exterior scenes when the camera was still. 

The acting is as good as you can expect from a low budget indie horror movie. Most of the actors are only on screen long enough to serve as victims, with no character development whatsoever. The only person that really gets a fair amount of dialogue is the disgraced detective played by Robert Render. He’s not entirely believable in the role, but is a lone bright spot in a otherwise poor film. The only other actor that gets sufficient dialogue is the surprise villain, who gets a Bond style villainous monologue at the end to reveal his dastardly plans. 

Sometimes the saving grace of an indie horror production is the extreme amount gore and blood that is used, making us forgive or forget about other problems with the film. Sadly, that is not the case here. Yes, there is some gore, but it is very minimal and many scenes are cut away before something happens.  

Even taking into consideration that Blood Harvest is a low budget horror movie, it is still monumentally bad. There is little here to suggest this to other horror fans. 

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