Blood Oath (2006)
Directed by David Buchert
Babies ... just about everyone wants one, but not everyone can have one. Sometimes the internal plumbing just doesn't work to make the miracle of life. There are solutions, however, in this modern era. With the progression of mankind we have invented great things like the turkey baster, a wonderful device that can not only help prepare a delicious Thanksgiving dinner but also slather a woman's insides with sperm gathered from any variety of man. Then there's the other option to choose from. No, it is not the fertility clinic. I am talking about witchcraft! Yes, the second safest method to getting knocked up. How could it go wrong?
Well, the Krupps wanted a baby so bad that they just decided to follow some random Albino's instructions involving a vial of mixed blood and crops. BAM! Instant babies! Two to be truthful. A set of twins were graced upon the Krupps, but there was a price to be paid. Soon the Krupps' crops began to die off and the white witch returned with yet another bargain. If one of the twins were sacrificed, the land would be lush and fertile like the old days. The Krupps refused, but a terrible accident occurred not too long after that left them dead, one child unharmed, and the other horribly disfigured.
The unharmed infant was adopted by a loving family while the other just sort of disappeared into the woods where the old Krupp residence rotted away. Legends began to form about a mysterious old hermit living in the house, and anyone who ventured into the decaying den never came back. Such tales as these would eventually lead a group of friends to the house where a sickening family reunion was waiting.
I don't know if I made some sort of a deal with the devil or the direct-to-video gods were smiling upon me, but this was actually a good low-budget film! Finally! The trumpets could be heard in the distance when the credits ended. Hippies in bright clothing came dancing by my window and praised the day that this reviewer actually saw something good! How could it have happened, and where the hell did my truck's tires go? Fucking hippies!!!
Blood Oath managed to win me over by simply being well put together. The camera work was the first thing that caught my eye as being a step above other films. Usually things would have a very static view of each scene, like someone just sat a camera on a tripod and left it running. Thankfully that isn't the case here with many good close-ups and varied angles to keep things fresh. Even more fun -- a few familiar techniques find their way into Blood Oath from other great horror films; see if you can spot them.
This movie offers a few more nods to old favorites in other ways as well. For example, a quick reference to Sleepaway Camp early in the film makes a full swinging comeback at the end for one of the grossest moments to ever find its way onto my television! If you've already guessed what I am talking about, then we won't go further because this film shouldn't be spoiled.
Blood Oath also takes quite a few cues from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the climax. The chasing, the brutality, and right down to our main villain itself spark that tingling sensation that we've seen this somewhere before. By no means does this make the film appear to be a rip-off, but it manages to be more true to the classic's spirit than even the TCM remake.
The back story is a little bland and slightly confusing, but isn't it that way with many urban legends? At least it sets up a reason for people to go exploring through the woods with the payoff being a large abandoned house. Many of us would have killed to find something like this while wondering around in the wild. The most I have ever found in the woods was an old car and a bullet in the leg thanks to a trigger happy farmer.
Where Blood Oath does falter a little is in the acting department. This is not really a surprise, however, as many films that have little money to work with rarely ever get a strong cast. One or two performances stand out, but to delve deeper into those characters may reveal some crucial plot points or the twist. It is safe to say that the audience may never know who is really going to bite the big one. All the kids appear to be just normal young adults, and never is there that one shinning moral compass figure who we all know will come out alive at the end.
Well, OK ... if you do pop a boob out, you will die so Blood Oath does hold some old horror cliches firmly in place, but all in all, Blood Oath is the most fun I've had watching kids get chopped up in a long time.
4 out of 5
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