Zombie movies are possibly the most popular horror sub genre. These films continue to rise from the dead thanks to small changes to the formula. As silly as some variations on the genre are, they tend to work. Audiences love a good zombie movie, but will settle for a decent one. Blood Quantum is a Shudder original about a zombie apocalypse. The twist here is the indigenous people of a First Nations tribe are immune. The residents of Red Crow must now figure out a way to live in a terrifying new world.
The premise is very interesting. The idea of native people being immune essentially flips history on its head. As has been often repeated throughout history, the indigenous people are forced to fight off hordes of white people who seek to kill them. The difference is many of the white refugees are also seeking the help of the Mi’qMaq people.
Unfortunately, Blood Quantum never delves too far into this juxtaposition. Instead, it is content to become just another zombie movie. The idea of the power dynamic being upturned is all but ignored in place of the differences between the residents of the compound. The film is not bad, but it also becomes forgettable. Few movies have this much squandered potential.
The practical effects are great. True to zombie movie form, Blood Quantum is incredibly gory. There is a great chainsaw kill and some very impressive animated scenes. Despite its somber atmosphere, the movie looks fantastic. The grey mood and constant cursing is almost balanced out by some of the most outrageously bloody scenes witnessed in any zombie flick.
The world building can feel a little rushed at times. For example, just as things are heating up during the first act, director Jeff Barnaby makes the odd decision to leap ahead six months. This happens multiple times throughout Blood Quantum. While there are no other large time jumps, the plot moves forward with little character development.
Blood Quantum is a welcome addition to the zombie movie genre. It is incredibly bloody and has the social commentary done so well in similar films. There is a tremendous missed opportunity regarding what the film wants to say. The haphazard pacing also impacts the storytelling. That being said, even though it does not quite live up to its promise, it will entertain fans.
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