Blood River

Director: Adam Mason (2009)
Starring: Andrew Howard, Tess Panzer, Ian Duncan
Find it: IMDB, Amazon

A bit like The Hitcher, but with a religious twist and nobody really hitches anywhere. There's also very little blood and no river. Eh, it's probably all metaphorical anyway. I think we've established by now that this blog understands neither metaphors or religion. But we'll struggle on. And I enjoyed Blood River very much, despite its use of metaphor and religion. Blood River is one of those movies that might very well take place in purgatory but refuses to spell it out for you. Way to discriminate against us stupid athiests, movie.

Clark (Duncan) and Summer (Panzer) are a seemingly sweet married couple, travelling through desert America to visit Summer's dad. The car breaks down and the pair are stuck in the middle of nowhere. They walk to a nearby deserted town where they encounter the mysterious Joseph (Howard) who wears a stetson, drinks whiskey, calls people "pilgrim" and talks about god a lot. You're never more than six feet away from a god-botherer, especially in America. When not being smug and talking about god, Joseph offers to help Clark and Duncan reach civilization. Only no. It becomes patently obvious that Joseph is more than a simple hitch-hiker. Metaphysical torture guff ensues.

The lead couple is somewhat annoying - particularly the embodiment of all things chode, Clark - but the bad guy duties are handled very well by Andrew Howard. He comes across as something between Michael Rooker and Rutger Hauer, swaggering his way through the movie, managing to be both sinister and sympathetic at the same time. It takes itself a little too seriously at times - and there's an air of predictability - but Blood River is ultimately an intelligent, gripping horror Western with a fine supernatural twist.

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