Sunday, July 7, 2013

It's In The Blood (2012): More From The Great Lance Henriksen

~Review by Marie Robinson

The woods. Pretty much always scary. Even in the daylight there is an overwhelming ancient mystery that you know you will never know the extent of and you will never quite understand. At the same time, the woods are where we usually go to find ourselves. Perhaps the contrast of the giant, looming unknown makes it easier for us to shrink our tragedies, our disasters, our festering questions down and work them out like knots in twine.

This is the setting for Scooter Downey’s 2012 film, It’s in the Blood. What exactly is in the blood you will have to decide for yourself.

Co-writer Sean Elliot also stars as October, a sad and sardonic young man who has come to visit the father he has been avoiding for years. Playing October’s father, Russell, is horror legend Lance Henriksen; Russell is a kind, sincere blue-collar man just happy to spend the time with his estranged son. Both of them share a tragic past, the details of which materialize to us through mottled flashbacks.

 October decides to humor his father in letting him teach all the classic country-boy quirks he missed out on, such as shooting a gun and driving a stick. The two go for what is expected to be a short hunting trip in the surrounding woods; however, when tension is raised by discussion of the unsettled events of the past, October wants to call it quits. He is forced to stay by his father’s side when Russell is startled by something he sees in the woods and falls off the side of a cliff.

A broken leg isn’t the only thing keeping them in the forest—there’s an entity, a beast circling them. Fighting for survival brings the father and son together, but isolated in the woods, being hunted and forced to recall the worst moments of their life and say the things that have since been unsaid is tearing their hearts apart. To make it out alive they must literally beat down their demons and rise above unspeakable evil.
 Although there are many strong elements to this film, the most powerful aspect is the story. It is heartbreaking, terrifying, and sickeningly relatable. Every family has a tragedy in their blood, even if it can’t compare to the one this father and son share. The relationship between a parent and a child is fickle and tricky, nearly impossible to get right, and this film examines that. It explores individual relationships within families, be they blood related or not.

Paired with the beautiful and haunting imagery and the impeccable acting, this is a film that shook me up and stayed with me through the night. It is the horror in our own lives, the irreversible events that define us; it is real evil manifesting as the supernatural. But nothing would be definable without contrasts, and as sure as there is evil and hatred, there is goodness and love.

It’s in the Blood is available for download on iTunes, Amazon and VUDU.

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