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Kevin J. O'Connor,
Jonas Armstrong had to have his entire body waxed and cast so the makeup and prop department could craft his character's skin to fit and match his torso perfectly. See more »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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The dead have highways, running through the wasteland behind our lives, bearing an endless traffic of departed souls. They can be heard in the broken places of our world, through cracks made out of cruelty, violence, and depravity. They have sign posts, these highways, and crossroads and intersections. And it is at these intersections where the dead mingle, and sometimes spill over into our world.
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This film pleasantly surprised me. Recent Clive Barker adaptations haven't really been masterpieces (though thankfully there always has been enough talent involved to make them interesting, at least). "The Plague" (2006) just wasn't much to write home about. "The Midnight Meat Train" (2008) was better, but it basically just tried to blow your socks off with extreme violence & bloodshed. And now, "Book of Blood" might just be the finest recent adaptation so far. It relies more on mood & atmosphere and all this is handled well. A duo of paranormal investigators - Mary Florescu (Sophie Ward), the professor & Reg Fuller (Paul Blair), the technician - moves into a reputed haunted house. Mary invites student Simon McNeal (Jonas Armstrong) to come along, for she believes him to have psychic abilities that might tap into the house's paranormal activities. But distrust soon rises between the threesome as they try to determine what's real and what's not in this house of hauntings.
Granted, the story remains pretty thin throughout the film, but director John Harrison takes this as an opportunity to not only create an eerie mood and build tension, but also to work on the main characters. There's a disturbing sexual tension growing between mentor Mary & student Simon which escalates in some keen exposure of betrayal. Actress Sophie Ward is an awesome woman and left a great impression on me with her toned-down performance. Both the pro- & epilogue make the movie a bit oddly structured, but it helped to flesh out the story a bit (pardon the pun). The film oozes with that sort of old school British Gothic vibe, but it's much darker portrayed than usual, adding a great deal of atmosphere to the picture. It's a rather little film, don't expect to be blown away, but it's a well-made effort and a clean adaptation carrying on the spirit of Clive Barker's work splendidly. I have yet to see his other recent outing, "Dread" (2009), but I've heard decent things about it already.
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