Blood Child is a creepy horror film about loss, pain, and the supernatural real Southeast Asian rituals that involve the raising of ghost children, sounds fine, if one stops right there, however it doesn’t rather it adds the now tiresome phrasing ‘based on a true story’ oh please, whether it is or not, the words used too often, sucking viewers into theater. It goes a step further, “story is based on true events that took place in South East Asia and the United States some years ago,” stating names changed to protect the innocent, and then “the sequence of events has been told in exactly the way that it occurred,” oops that pushes over the edge, as one sees early on in the movie. While director and writer Jennifer Phillips, having this as her only credit to date attempts to include subtle references to politics, bigotry, and status-level of privilege, rather than just giving the audience good old-fashioned ghostly haunts, prying on viewers’ supernatural beliefs. Needless to say, the movie includes hints of Asian culture and spiritualism, with some reference to post-pregnancy depression, throughout the fantasy thriller driven story distributed by Random Media.
Ashley (Alyx Melone) miscarries during her first pregnancy, finds herself unable to let go traumatized by her loss, believes she hears her unborn child crying out to her. She keeps this grief inside herself, and her mother doesn’t sense the pain or anguish – strange, however the pain swirls deepening within her is the equivalent of quicksand of depression, by now the audience would expect a fetus image, fret not folks, not the direction the movie takes. Her husband, Bill (Biden Hall), whom one never sees actually work, he just hangs out each night drinking with his friends. She then forces Siti (Cynthia Lee MacQuarrie), her reluctant Indonesian maid, to take her to a priestess of foreign ritualistic worship to bind her dead child’s ghost to her. Soon enough Ashley becomes pregnant again, her first-unborn child expresses jealousy, from violent outbursts to other more drastic measures including ranting to her mother, though no one else sees or hears. As this occurs the privileged side of the characters show belittling, criticizing both Siti and her Asian custom/practices, first from Naomi (Charlotte Cattell), and then her mother who refers to Siti coming from a “third world country”, and that’s the reason she lost her baby when Ashley and Bill lived there. Meanwhile, Tom (Steve Kasan), a friend of Bill, who by now Phillips’ movie of late is criticized for being both racist and invoking white supremacy by a few critics, I disagree, I’m unsure if individuals ever saw movies such as In the Heat of the Night or Mississippi Burning, those movies showed that behavior. As for this film, the racism one speaks of the characters presents as uncaring to a minority with different cultural views, however, this is not what the movie is about rather both western beliefs and attempting to connect of spiritual level with a lost soul. The bigotry many speak of, again more of ignorance, the act of not knowing mixed with not caring to know, many people in society criticize other for the beliefs in Santeria or voodoo, calling them silly, but we all believe in some rituals, whether a prayer to wearing a certain outfit because some luck you had with it or even a power color. Now, aside from this misinformed position, the movie still contains a character which viewers might find as undeveloped and the entire depression Ashley left unchecked, rather a quick jump to ‘black magic’ route. The editing not entirely smooth, but not as bad as the music composition, it feels slightly off, from each scene, though perhaps a result of a jumbled screenplay.
What one finds distasteful, slams marriage and tries to get to violate is vows, which he’s willing to submit to with a woman at the bar to check on him orally, but suddenly she’s transformed into a rotting corpse, talk about having a moment from The Shining (1980). When you recall the opening in the story you are told in the order it occurs, however plenty of flashbacks happen, so a tad unsure how accurate that statement could be at that point.
This contains remnants of horror, but it’s more a thriller, with the supernatural overtones, centering itself into foreign cultures and religious mysticism, but overlooking the real-life trauma and horror in the depression, sadness and even madness of a miscarriage. Often horror cinema focuses on demon babies, mutated infants, unborn babies, and even a fetus, however not many focus the deepen chasm of loss with those who sadly lose their expecting bundle of joy. The movie results in more of temper tantrum than scare fest, therefore be forewarned on what type of delivery one could expect with this so-called true story flick.
- Some bonds can never be broken
IMDb Rating: 5.6/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10