I recently sat down to watch the new horror film Blood Conscious by writer-director Timothy Covell. The film follows Brittany (DeShawn White), her brother Kevin (Oghenero Gbaje), and her boyfriend Tony (Lenny Thomas) as they head to a cabin to join her mother and father for some family time. Unfortunately, things go very wrong for the trio when they find that an armed man has murdered their parents and their neighbors. His reasoning, they weren’t people anymore, they were demons.
This movie has a character problem. Right off to bat we learn that Tony’s a prick, Brittany lets him walk over her and her brother and Kevin is weak. These are the characters we are meant to care for, cheer for? They are mostly unlikable with Kevin being the only halfway redeemable character in the film.
The next issue are the demons. They look like people and act like people, save for a higher level of aggression. The fact that you can’t tell just by looking who are the demons and who are regular people adds a little drama, but the characters only encounter a couple of people who may be possessed. What we get is mostly three people arguing back and forth about what to do the whole movie. I’ll be honest, I found it a bit odd that there is no back story or reasoning for the demons’ arrival. This also plays a big part in the film’s end which was less than satisfying.
I will say this, the movie mostly avoids stereotypes with the way African Americans are usually portrayed. I truly appreciated that. But we still get the basic horror 101 characters, the jerk, the doting woman whose man can do no wrong, the guy everyone ignores, and the crazy guy who isn’t so crazy after all.
Labeled a horror movie, Blood Conscious is anything but scary. Yes, there is some tension and a little bit of gore, but unfortunately, that’s about it. Aside from aggression, we are given no reason to run scared from these “demons”, especially when they are easy to kill. It all just feels shallow and well, basic. Like we get a center cut of a story, no beginning, and no end and that just feels…disappointing when everything is said and done.
I just couldn’t get past the bad characters, their frequent labored dialogue, and the lack of scares. Feel free to check it out yourself, it lands on Digital/VOD platforms on August 20th followed by its arrival on DVD on September 28, 2021, from Dark Sky Films. By the way, if you are planning on watching it, skip the trailer. It gives away way too much.
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