Blooded (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/04/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 76 mins

Engaging, well directed British thriller with a strong cast and a decent script, though the part-documentary, part-re-enactment format backfires a little in that it robs the story of any real tension.

What's it all about?
Directed by Edward Boase, Blooded purports to be true story of how a group of hunting enthusiasts are targeted (i.e. stripped to their underwear and hunted for real) by the militant Real Animal League while on holiday on the Isle of Mull in the Highlands of Scotland. The conceit is that the supposed real-life participants (played by actors Adam Best, Mark Dexter, Neil McDermott, Isabella Calthorpe and Sharon Duncan-Brewster) are interviewed documentary-style about their ordeal and the interviews are intercut with a re-enactment of the events in the actual locations, with the characters played by a different set of actors (Nick Ashdon, Cicely Tennant, Oliver Boot, Joseph Kloska and Tracy Ifeachor).

The Good
The performances are excellent, with the “documentary” actors matching up surprisingly well to their re-enactment counterparts. In addition, the relationships between the characters (a high-profile hunting enthusiast, the ex-girlfriend he still pines for, his best friend, his estranged brother and the brother's black American girlfriend) are well drawn and fraught with tension, which works well.

The hunting sequences are extremely well directed (the actors look convincingly cold, for one thing) and the situation is genuinely terrifying, even if there is a vague sense of disappointment that the film never turns into the straight-up exploitation-thriller it could have been.

The Bad
The obvious problem with the film is that by having all the participants appear on camera giving interviews the film is stripped of any suspense with regards to who makes it to the final reel; similarly, there's a distancing effect with the re-enactment because the film states upfront that you're watching actors acting rather than drawing you into their story. On top of that, if you're casting people to play supposed real-life characters, it's probably not a good idea to include two members (or former members) of the EastEnders cast in that line-up (Ryan and Mad Lucas's crazy junkie ex Trina, EastEnders fans).

Worth seeing?
Structural issues aside, Blooded is an engaging, well made and superbly acted British thriller that marks director Edward Boase out as a talent to watch. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 22/08/2018 03:09

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