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‘Blood Vessel’ review: Strong addition to the Nazi horror sub genre

Bloody war.

Blood Vessel tries to prove there can never be too many horror movies involving Nazis. Stories of the occult have long been tied to World War II Germany, so it does make sense. It is 1945 and a group of survivors from a torpedo attack are adrift on a raft. With dwindling supplies. they come across an abandoned German minesweeper. What seems like a chance for survival becomes a fight for it.

The rag tag group can be considered a war time take on the normal clique of friends found in the genre. Instead of bickering classmates, they come from different countries. The tropes are still there, though. There is the smart one, the hot head, the jerk, and so forth. Lighting is used well in Blood Vessel. The majority of the action takes place at night and the movie is bathed in dark blues and reds. Surprisingly, it does not add to the atmosphere; it just makes things hard to see.

Early on, the movie shows that anyone can die at any time. This adds a sense of tension to Blood Vessel. The suspense is felt most strongly during a scene in which a nurse cleans a Russian soldier’s wound. Once Blood Vessel finally reveals what is really happening on the ship, things pick up. The first two thirds of the movie do a great job of setting up a mystery, but there is little in the way of action. The third act makes call backs to unquestioned classics while providing a thrilling story.

It seems rather quietly there have been enough Nazi horror movies made to make an impressive horror sub genre. Blood Vessel is another fine addition that works thanks to its great creature design and its ghost ship premise. Once the big bad becomes involved, the film wears its influences on its sleeve with Some clever homages.

Blood Vessel premieres on Shudder November 5.

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