M.L. Miller here! Because you and I love the horror so much, I’ve decided to post a “Worth Noting” pick along with each of my Horror Countdown choices each day through October. The same rules apply. The film must have been released before September 30th, 2019 to the masses (no festival picks). This means that is available to view in theaters, On Demand, DVD/BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films.
How did I compile this list? Horror is such a broad and varied genre that sometimes, while these choices may not represent the best—something about the film is worth taking notice. Some of these films have similar themes to their counterparts in the main countdown. Some just missed the countdown by an inch or two. Others were just squozed in because there’s nothing like them out there. Others because they have been made available for the first time. One way or another, it’s more horror to enjoy!
I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web. 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, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Worth Noting – DRY BLOOD!
I was really impressed with the mix of practical and CG effects along with the unconventional story of DRY BLOOD. This is one you might overlook if you aren’t pointed in its direction. So that’s what I’m doing. Pointing you to this low budget shocker that missed my main countdown just by a smidge! Released in January 2019, here’s my review of DRY BLOOD! Available on DVD/BluRay, On Demand, and digital download from Dread Central!
DRY BLOOD (2017)
Directed by Kelton Jones
Written by Clint Carney
Starring Clint Carney, Jaymie Valentine, Kelton Jones, Graham Sheldon, Rin Ehlers, Robert V. Galluzzo, Macy Johnson
Writer Clint Carney offers up a solid performance in DRY BLOOD, an intoxicating tale of the horrors of addiction and mental illness.
Carney plays Brian Barnes, a down on his luck everyman who wakes up in his car, hung over and ready to make a change in his life. He calls his gal pal Anna (singer/songwriter Jaymie Valentine), a recovering addict herself, to come with him to his cabin to sober up. Of course, going to a cabin in the backcountry is never a good idea in horror films and almost immediately, Brian crosses paths with an overly friendly police officer and some restless spirits that seem to be haunting the home. But is this haunting supernatural or all in Brian’s fractured and drug addled mind?
While there are a few acting flubs here and there such as some of the lines not landing with confidence and some of the humor not really resonating, DRY BLOOD gets a pass on that from me because of solid performances by its two leads, a well-paced and suspenseful story, and some truly heinous gore and ghost effects.
Gaunt and disheveled, one can believe Carney is a burnout on the edge of the abyss in desperate need of a friend and some peace. Carney is likable, despite his flaws which makes you root for him while he makes one bad decision after another. Jayme Valentine is adorable as Anna. Her acting prowess is a little less formidable, but she still balances out Brian’s rough edges with her sweetness and dedication to help him. Hers is a truly tragic character, as she is hounded sexually by the desperate Brian, who misreads their friendship. It’s a realistic relationship of codependence that really seems genuine as the story progresses and Brian becomes more strung out.
The story also knows not to drag its heels. There is always some kind of forward motion going on from beginning to end. Brian has a clear goal—to get sober and get his life together, and the only thing in the way is himself. There isn’t really a moment in DRY BLOOD where I looked at my watch or the runtime. It’s one of those films that always has something interesting going on—be it the realistic conversations and interactions to the batshit crazy stuff that happens in the last act.
And did I say batshit crazy? Well, I’ll say it again. For such a conservative budget, this film sure has some gory, imaginative, and original gore and hallucination scenes. I really haven’t seen a lot of the grisly stuff that appears in the latter portion of the film (and I’ve seen a shit ton of grisly stuff). And all of it looks pretty seamless and well produced—utilizing both Cg and practical effects marvelously. I’m telling you, there are some trouser-filling moments of sheer terror in this one.
DRY BLOOD is a low budget masterpiece that knows where to put its money, but never forgets to make every minute count. It excellently depicts a slow descent into madness by way of the tragic coupling of mental illness and self-medication. DRY BLOOD is full of moments that will resonate in your nightmares right up until the very end. See it!
WORTH NOTING SO FAR…
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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