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Blood River (2009)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 1,143 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 22 critic

A psychological thriller, which explores the destruction of a young couple's seemingly perfect marriage.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Joseph
Tess Panzer ...
Summer
...
Clark
Sarah Essex ...
Inn Keeper
Dillon Borowski ...
Benny
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Athene Noelle ...
Jeze
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Storyline

Clark Ewald and his pregnant wife, Summer, are on their way to her parents. They take a lonely road through the Nevada desert. They pass by a walker dressed like a cowboy and later they stop for the night in a motel. In the morning they return to the road while the cowboy leaves. Fifty miles from the hotel, the couple has a car accident and they decide to walk to the next town. They arrive to find a a ghost town and out of the blue, the stranger arrives and introduces himself as Joseph. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Release Date:

April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nevada Violence  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Joseph: I'm the future of the world, only the world don't know it yet...
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Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Blood River' (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Haunted
written by 'Mick Hargreaves'
performed by 'The Grip Weeds'
courtesy of Ground Up Records
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User Reviews

 
Dark and pretty decent desert set slow burner
24 November 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

After The Devil's Chair, one could be forgiven for not wanting to bother with an Adam Mason film ever again. That wouldn't be the wisest course though, as Blood River is actually quite good. The seductively simple premise follows young couple Clark and Summer, heading to see her parents and announce her pregnancy. After a near fatal crash they land up in the deserted town of Blood River, wherein they make the acquaintance of chain smoking thoughtful hippie type Joseph. Here the fun begins, and I won't go too much into it but things pan out a little differently to how you might think. Now, with this kind of set-up, a film needs good actors and here the film shines. Ian Duncan is pretty handy as the at first cool but increasingly edgy Clark, a yuppie with a bit of a tweak to him while Tess Panzer is equally effective as the bright, pleasant and outgoing Summer. Andrew Howard really sets the film on fire as Joseph though, affability chased by shades of aggression, pulsing menace while drawling wisdom like a latter day seer. Once the three of them get down to interaction things never let up and they have mostly great chemistry, sparking off each other with tension steadily mounting. It's a slow burner with most of the excitement in the last half hour, but the film sets up its foundations well enough that things are fairly nerve rattling. The last half hour is where the film slips up though; it's hard to explain why without spoilers but basically, an important plot point is handled with a level of ambiguity that works against it. I'm all for ambiguity and films letting the audience figure things out for themselves, but here the shading of the point leaves the film morally at sea. Perhaps that was the intention, it certainly had me pondering it afterwards which is rarely a bad thing, but on the other hand I think this is a case where a more direct approach would have worked better. The film also comes into the problem at the end that (like The Devil's Chair), it really isn't as grisly as it should be. Sure there are a couple of good nasty scenes and things are pretty intense, but it misses a chance to really make an impact. Another complaint, though a smaller one is that at the beginning at least the film suffers from too much editing. The setting is wonderful and the cinematography sharp, so the short shot lengths are quite an irritation, they just don't do the location justice. Fortunately this either clears up or the drama covers it because I stopped noticing it after a while and an interesting atmosphere of hot, bleak isolation sets in. One last issue I had is that during some of the bigger dramatic moments the writing falters. Lines that seem a bit out of place or hammy, it brought me out of the film. Still, this is a good romp while it lasts, with Joseph standing out as a pretty fine effort to write an iconic character, some decent drama and a few gnarly scenes. It may lack a little in lasting punch and it has some niggling flaws, but I was pretty entertained throughout. Recommended if it seems like your sort of thing…


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