Blood Myth is a UK mystery/horror film by writer/director team Sean Brown and Luke Gosling and is about a small town myth where every thirty years someone disappears. The circumstance is known by the locals as "30". While not clever in name, it aptly describes the situation…
…The cold open of the film sees people frantically searching for a boy. Once they find him covered in blood, the mystery begins. This leads us to years later where our protagonist James Lincoln (Jonathan McClean) is interviewing a security guard about a spectral presence that he has encountered. The journalist seems disinterested in the whole thing. The reason why is he was recently demoted at work, and now given the assignments no one else seems to want. However, that changes when his barber tells him of the small town and the legend of 30. He presents the idea of going to the town to his editor, as it has been 30 years since the last time someone has vanished. This is a weak point in the script as his editor is his former lover whom he broke up with, choosing to be with his fiancée instead of her. Both roles feel pretty thinly written, which becomes a problem given the climax of the film. Needless to say the editor assigns him, and he decides it can double as a trip for him and his fiancée. Once there things begin to unravel, and his fiancée disappears. This is where the story really starts to ramp up.
The cinematography feels disjointed with some shots being cinematic and epic; while others just look like a made for TV movie. This is mostly due to the restraints of the smaller budget forced on the filmmakers. However, it is a jarring experience to see the English countryside framed majestically, and then the next shot to be a scene that looks like it was shot for procedural crime drama. It still works as a compelling full piece, but feels like the magic is lost when it struggles between the two very different shots.
The biggest strength in Blood Myth is the performance of McLean. In the beginning he seems very off-put by his position at the newspaper, and yet as the story moves forward his personal life really starts to take a toll on the mystery he is trying to uncover.
The film suffers from the overwhelming amount of melodrama that is crammed into a very short run time. His fiancée is with child, he took a demotion at his job due to an affair he had with his editor, he gains a new female companion to help him solve his partner's sudden vanishing. It all feels like this story would have been better told as a mini-series instead of a movie that runs just under one and a half hours. The characters outside of the protagonist feel very flat. One could argue given the twist at the end, it is intentional all the women in the cast aren't developed aside from their connection to him, but that might be a psychoanalysis into something that should probably have been explored in a mini-series.
It's nice to see a folklore tale that takes place in the UK. The United Kingdom historically has been such a great breeding ground for tales of mystery and terror. It's a shame it couldn't have been a little longer in run time. Still, even with its flaws, Blood Myth is a film worth checking out.
Blood Myth is now out on VOD from High Octane Pictures.
By Justin Drabek
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