The Blood Lands
The film begins with Sarah and Ed a young British couple, who like a couple everyone knows appears perfect on the surface, but have their problems like most. They decide they want to get away from the hustle and bustle of London and find somewhere more quite, in the Scotland countryside. Their real estate agent warns them off about the place (but like any good or bad horror movie they don’t head the warning and move in.) It doesn’t take long as the first night in their new home they are awoken by noises down stairs.
Of course they go downstairs to investigate nd find nothing, but an ominous open door. But we as the audience soon find out their home is being invaded by a group of local Scottish men wearing a Pig Masks. Ed soon goes missing, leaving Sarah to escape in an attempt to find her husband. Without giving away too much Sarah is left to fend for herself, in a new place in the middle of the night, chased by axe wielding locals who have all the advantage of knowing the area.
The film is was a bit stale in the fact it shares a lot of elements with (you guessed it) You’re Next. The female heroine having to fend for herself. That being said, Pollyanna McIntosh (Sarah) puts forth a stellar performance. You really enjoy the emotional roller coaster with her, her ups and downs. You really root for her by the end of the film. Lee Williams(Ed) is also a breath of fresh air as he doesn’t take on the macho, tough as nails protector.
Where it does differ from in "You’re Next" is the masks were merely used as a prop and a mask to bring some discomfort and
creepiness. In Blood Lands at times the invaders are silhouetted and shadowed with the faces of pigs provides plenty of horrific and creepy imagery and atmosphere. The invaders also unlike You’re Next are faceless, anonymous and determined. There are no layers to them, no character development going on, they're just the dark side of the story that Sarah is battling against. The film uses elements of small- town-conspiracy, historical bitterness, racism and class division.
The film is simplistic but haunting, the score helps the tension a lot. It isn't a ground-breaking horror film, and there are moments in which the violence felt relenting, but not severe enough. The ending left me wanting more as I let the experience settle into my brain. I realized as the credits rolled it was a short film, with a run time under 90 minutes, that being said it doesn’t leave much time to be bored by the film. I walked away from the film finding somethings that left me wanting a bit more, but also enough to like about it.In closing the film is a mix up of You’re Next and The Strangers (which I personally wasn’t a fan of). But an eerie looking film with the use of lighting effects. It takes a genre that is becoming more and more frequently done and does something that is not entirely original or unpredictable but is still has its own identity and is an enjoyable home invasion film.
reviewed by Shawn