Monday, April 11, 2011

Blood Oath (2010, David Buchert)

Blood Oath, another new offering from Troma Entertainment, is an 80's flavored, slasher in the woods flick.  Though I love this sub genre of horror films, I'll be the first to admit that few of the recent entries are worthwhile.  As with any genre, there is only so much you can do with it before recycling the same tired formulas.  Occasionally though, something original (or at least interesting) comes along.

Blood Oath follows two couples going into the woods for a camping trip.  They then decide to go look for a house supposedly inhabited by a badly-burned girl (though now grown up), who was the result of a deal made by her parents involving black magic.  We soon learn that there is someone out there, slaying anyone who comes in their territory, including the ex-girlfriend of one of the campers and a separate trio as well.  As the two couples finally find a house, it isn't long before they realize what a bad decision they made.

Blood Oath is a fun throwback to the horror days of yore, but at the same time adding some fresh elements.  The campers in the woods searching out an urban legend plot isn't that original but the origin of the killer itself is a fresh change of pace.  The killer is actually one of the best things about this film.  It is just so grotesque and creepy that it is sure to be appreciated by slasher fans who idolize Jason or Michael Myers.  The makeup FX (especially the burns on the killer) are very well done and the killings, though not always graphic, look professional.  Another thing that makes this film stand out from the crappier slasher entries of recent years is that it actually focuses on the characters more than just endless scenes of people getting hacked to pieces.  When the killer finally meets up with the group, we feel like we can identify the characters.  One drawback is the stiff acting by some of the cast, which makes it hard for the film to be seen as anything other than amateur.  An exception to this is scream queen Tiffany Shepis, who makes an all to brief appearance as an ill-fated ex-girlfriend.  Overall though, the film was quite a fun, entertainingly creepy slasher and its meager running time of 75 minutes made it easy to sit true without the filler that longer horror films sometimes carry. 

RATING:  7/10

DVD Release date: May 10th, 2011

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