Who does not love movies about demonic pregnancies and the spawns of Satan or other monstrous creatures? They really make for some creepy movie watching, right? Who is not freaked out by demonic children with fangs and claws? Ever since Rosemary’s Baby set the bar so high, the world of cinema has seen plenty of duplicators and homages. Roman Polanski created incredible tension and the film boasted top-notch performances. That is hard to replicate. That will not stop director Reed Shusterman from doing his best with the new horror film Blood Born.
What does Blood Born offer that is new and fresh to this classic formula. Well, it does not offer as much mystery and subtlety as classics like Rosemary’s Baby. The film does not do a great job of building the tension and mystery of what is going on. They make it clear that disturbing things are going on which does take quite a bit of the fun out of it. The suspense does not work as well when it seems like everyone is in on what is going on (which also makes the characters less interesting when they just come off as dense fools for falling right into the trap). This evil Foundation “helps” people get pregnant when they have issues. The one-week pregnancy and the drinking of blood are not weird, right? They say it is normal…so it…must…be?
What allows a film to really get under your skin and creepy you out? The suspension of disbelief. When you can lose yourself in a film, that is when it can properly manipulate you. The characters in this film are blinded by ignorance or desperation that it is hard to believe that they would fall for such a suspicious and absurd set up. The acting is not exactly top-notch either. The performances are stiff and awkward. Nothing takes you out of a film like performances that do not feel genuine. Some of the technical aspects are lacking as well with poor sound mixing (which draws attention to the fact that you are watching a film) and the CGI “demon eyes” which look plain silly.
But this film cannot be all bad, right? In general, the concept of this film with a couple so desperate to have a child that they will turn to drastic measures is a good idea. The film has that going for it despite it being a bit too derivative and too outlandish in practice. The motivations are relatable and understandable for the main characters which makes it a bit easier to feel for them. One performance that does feel genuine and works for the film is Melanie Haynes as Ola. She is the one supporting the pregnancy and she does come off as a sweet old woman (one that you just might believe when confronted with an outlandish proposition). There are actual moments in the film that look creepy and quite freaky. One scene of an overly stretched stomach is quite disturbing and another delivers a convincing reveal of what one of these “special” children might look like.
Does Blood Born do justice to the long legacy of “bad seed” films? This one might fall into the category of easily forgettable. Nothing really stands out about this film when all is said and done. Shusterman might not be able to milk the right amount of suspense from this film, but it does turn out to be watchable at least. Just be prepared, this one might not leave you with the greatest sense of resolution.