How did I compile this list? There’s no real method to my special brand of madness. I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2017 and September 30, 2018 and worked and reworked the list until I had 31. This countdown is not for the elitists or festival goers, so if the film hasn’t been released to the masses, it won’t be on the list. Also anything released in October will most likely be on next year’s list—so sorry, no films like HALLOWEEN or SUSPIRIA just yet. I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web. I’ll also provide a second film suggestion in a separate post that is worth noting this year or missed being on the list by a skosh for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
#17 FAKE BLOOD
Why is FAKE BLOOD #17? Because it is a convincing mockumentary style film that made me wonder just how real it was. In an age where the seams of horror can be seen everywhere from bad acting to bad CGI, it’s a true accomplishment to really have me guessing whether it all is real or not. A great film with some truly tense-laden moments. You can find FAKE BLOOD from Level Films on iTunes and Amazon!
FAKE BLOOD (2017)
Directed by Rob Grant
Written by Rob Grant, Mike Kovac, Michael Peterson
Starring Rob Grant, Mike Kovac, Jacqueline Breakwell, Camden Filtness, Nathaniel Moher, Jez Bonham, Tracy Varju, Scott Wallis, Theo Francon, & Len Harvey as John Doe!
I’m 99% sure FAKE BLOOD is a movie and not a documentary…99% sure. I’m pretty sure this is one of the best mock-documentaries you’re going to see. It’s that fraction of doubt that makes it all the more terrifying. I was wondering what the talented folks behind the FARGO-esque caper gone wrong flick MON AMI (a truly excellent film reviewed here) were going to do next, but had no idea they would be able to come up with such an engrossing film proving that these guys are talented and destined for greatness…
…if this is in fact a mockumentary and not a documentary, that is.
FAKE BLOOD starts out from a noble place. A pair of filmmakers (Rob Grant and Mike Kovac who play themselves) have had mild success with a violent comedy called MON AMI and receive a bizarre email of a couple of people reenacting one of the scenes from the movie. This leads Rob and Mike to question their approach to violence in their films. Having never shot a gun, been in a fight, or even talked with anyone who has done a violent act, Rob and Mike believe that to make films with violence they should experience some of it or at least interview some folks who have. After going to a firing range and getting their asses kicked by a martial arts instructor, Rob and Mike still feel like they don’t have any answers. So they go a bit deeper to the edge of the rabbit hole and seek out a person who worked on a friend’s film who seemed to have some prior knowledge of how a person should act if they die. Rob and Mike set up an interview with this individual and what happens next is the stuff pure paranoia, needles and pins filled tension, and sheer psychological horror are made of.
I love the way FAKE BLOOD poses questions but offers up no easy answers. While I believe that one doesn’t have to experience the exact actions one might put into a story or film, I do believe that to understand those actions; experiences, interviews, conversations, and one’s own personal library of feelings can help one understand what a particular character might be going through. In this case, I don’t necessarily agree with Grant who is more of the notion that to put it in one’s film, you should experience it (or at least that’s what Grant’s character believes), but it is a compelling argument and one he delves into with this story. Mike, on the other hand, plays a more rational character here, along for the ride if it seems true to the film’s intent, but questioning that intent the entire time. It appears, or at least is convincing enough to appear, that initially, Grant and Mike set out to make a film responsibly addressing whether violence affects those watching it and what responsibility as filmmakers do they have to depict it realistically versus through a Hollywood lens. As a documentary, FAKE BLOOD brings up compelling and smart questions and most likely, after seeing this one, it’ll inspire some conversation on the matter afterwards.
While later in the film, things are set into motion to pull the documentarians into the action, none of it is over the top. None of it is unbelievable. And again, there’s a part of me that hopes it isn’t real. Assuming it’s not, Grant conveys some moments of over the shoulder checking caution as the filmmakers find themselves in over their heads with no easy way out. This makes for a piece of cinema that will have you riveted to the screen hoping for the well being of all of those involved. Making everything feel as believable as possible are the two likable stars (Grant and Kovac) as this is as much an intellectual argument about on screen violence as it is about the strain of the friendship of these two lifelong buddies. On both levels it works and I loved every nail-biting second of it.
I usually try to reserve a section of my reviews to try to focus on some criticism, especially in overly positive reviews like this one, but honestly, from intriguing start to chilling finish, FAKE BLOOD is all good in my book. Being a fan of the found footage/shockumentary style horror film, FAKE BLOOD is one of the most convincing, most tension-laced, and most tightly-constructed films of its kind you’re going to see. It raises intellectual questions that all filmmakers should debate while never forgetting to entertain. I highly, highly recommended you see this film and dare you not to be compelled to talk about it afterwards.
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#31 – Sam Patton’s DESOLATION
#30 – CULT OF CHUCKY
#29 – 1922
#28 – PSYCHOPATHS
#27 – GHOST STORIES
#26 – PYEWACKET
#25 – DOWNRANGE
#24 – MAYHEM
#23 – COLD SKIN
#22 – THELMA
#21 – THE BABYSITTER
#20 – TONIGHT SHE COMES
#19 – THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD
#18 – THE RITUAL
#17 – FAKE BLOOD
Best of lists from previous years;
2016-17 #1 – RAW
2015-16 #1 – THE VVITCH
2014-15 #1 – THE CANAL
2013-14 #1 – PROXY
2012-13 #1 – MANIAC
2012 #1 – THE WOMAN
2011 #1 – THE LAST CIRCUS
M. L. Miller is an original AICN @$$Hole formerly known as Ambush Bug/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
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Don’t forget to share and like and finally, Happy Horror Holiday Month to Everyone!