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Are We Sure An Elementary Schooler Didn't Write This? A Review of "Blood Runs Cold"

Director Sonny Laguna's Blood Runs Cold was released in October from Stockholm Syndrome films. It's really hard to rest saying it was re-released, nce there's not much here we haven't seen in a thousand other (and often superior) films. It eagerly employs many tired and lly horror movie cliches. It doesn't just use each cliche once apiece, either. Instead, it batters you with them over and over again until you feel it's beginning to do actual violence to your brain.

There is a parade of scenes where a character hears a noise and goes to investigate all by themselves while calling out "Carl, is that you?" or "Richard, is that you?" or "(insert name here), is that you?" only to find, to their mple-minded astonishment that it's not Carl or Richard, but a virtually indestructible murderer! In one scene, the main character (ineptly played by Hanna Oldenberg) thinks there's still a pretty good chance that it's Carl she hears skulking about even after she's seen the killer with her own eyes. Spoiler alert: It's (still) not Carl!!! You also get plenty of instances of people leaning against doors that the killer can stab through, and characters opting not to call the police for no apparent reason. Let's not forget the cliche about the terrified girl who picks up a weapon to fend off her attacker, uses it once, and then throws it down and runs off without it. That one is in there at least twice. On top of the waterfall of cliches it offers up, Blood Runs Cold has other problems as well. There are weaknesses in the casting and in the production overall, and there are times when the tricks the script tries to pull to cover up those weaknesses are shockingly obvious. For instance, Winona (Oldenberg) is supposed to be a nger/songwriter who plays the guitar, but Oldenberg cannot actually play the instrument. Instead, we see her pick a guitar up and then run off to investigate a strange noise before plucking a ngle string. We never hear her ng either. Also, she is supposedly returning to the town she grew up in, but everyone else we meet from her hometown is lacking the prominent foreign accent that Winona has. It doesn't seem like this difference in speaking styles is part of the script, nce it's never explained or addressed. It seems more like someone decided to shrug and hope no one would notice, which might work just fine for those horror fans who are severely hearing impaired.

The characters are all thinly written and stupid, without much interesting to say, which is why we always join their conversations toward the end of their generic tales about flat tires or bad days at work. They usually don't seem overly concerned when they find blood everywhere and all their companions misng, and when one character finally does decide to follow a trail of said blood on the off chance that it might mean someone has been cut open, he does so without bothering to bring a weapon along. The movie does have a few somewhat redeeming qualities. For the most part, the kill scenes are well-crafted and stylish, even if they're over too quickly. The killer himself is suitably brutal and intimidating, and he does not come across as a complete rip-off of the killers from other movies. However, even those qualities ultimately make this film more of a waste. If this villain had been placed in a better movie, he might have eventually become a slasher icon for a new generation. Instead, he's trapped in a lifeless, contrived mess that seems like it was feverishly scribbled out by an 8 year old. Blood Runs Cold is not the worst thing to ever happen to horror, and it might even succeed in making you gasp or wince a couple times, but it's strictly for watching with a group of good-humored (and hopefully inebriated) friends who enjoy laughing at mindless, cheesy B-movies. I give it 1 and 1/2 out of 5 stars, and it only rates that high because I like the killer.
ImmortalSidneyP Tuesday 11/29/2011 at 02:04 PM | 87623
I think the look on the girl's face on the poster is enough to tell the quality of this film.
Ed Reilly Wednesday 11/30/2011 at 04:30 PM | 87691