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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My Review Of "Blood Moon"

Western horror "Blood Moon" is directed by is directed by Jeremy Wooding and stars Shaun Dooley, George Blagden, Amber Jean Rowan, Corey Johnson, Anna Skellern, Raffaello Degruttola, Jack Fox, Eleanor Matsuura, George Webster, Kerry Shale, Ian Whyte. The film takes the classic look and feel of the western film and mixes in some horror that is fused with both contemporary and traditional horror, with witty dialog, even paced story development, and well produced visual effects. "Blood Moon" maintains a serious, but entertaining approach to the "cowboys vs werewolf" theme.

Synopsis: 1887. In a deserted mining town in Colorado, a stagecoach full of passengers and an enigmatic gunslinger find themselves prisoners of two outlaws. As the travelers attempt to escape, it becomes apparent that a bigger menace lurks outside; a beast that only appears on the night of a blood moon.

First off I was impressed with the direction that Wooding took in creating this unique First Nations People mythos of Skinwalkers as opposed to the more classical Eastern European concepts. Native lore from the Americas is a complex and vividly fascinating spiritual and mythological web of shapeshifters, magic, and superstitions that doesn't often get such a fresh, mature light shown on the beliefs. A lot of films tend to lean more toward spoof, comical, or exaggeration when telling skinwalker stories. "Blood Moon" keeps it straight forward, intense, and  yes -at times-scary. One of the few films that made me jump in some of the more chilling scenes. 

The creature effects and overall use of practical effects is worth applauding! Wooding could have opted for heavy CGI effects when bringing this beast to light, but instead chose to keep the CGI at bare minimum. It really puts the werewolf fan back in the mindset of classic horror like "American Werewolf In London" and "The Wolfman". Although in this case the creature design is more of a hybrid of the two concepts, and looks more like a massive beast morphed into a humanoid monster. Plus the music, atmosphere, and over all cinematography has a creepy, Hammer-esque vibe to it that really screams creature feature. 

Overall "Blood Moon" is a true, modern classic and one of the coolest werewolf films that I have seen in the last several years. At first based on the first 10 minutes I thought I was going to be bored. The characters seemed cliche, redundant and two-dimensional. That notion falls apart almost right about the time 10 minutes is up! The characters come alive, the dialog zings, and the story just gets you into the vision that Wooding is going for. The creature, the mythos, and the style choice really makes this film a great add to any horror fans collection. Especially the shapeshifter, werewolf fan. I fell in love with the story based on the authentic approach to showing the Navajo system of belief without making it look or feel "hokey". Definitely check out "Blood Moon". The ending is not a big bang like you hope for when watching man vs beast films like this but it isn't really disappointing either. 
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