Blood Conscious puts real life horror into a scary movie to make a unique and powerful thriller. Kevin (Oghenero Gbaje), his sister Britney (DeShawn White), and her fiancé Tony (Lenny Thomas) go to the lake to visit family and friends. They find them all murdered by a shooter (Nick Damici). The white gunman thinks they were all demons and that Kevin, Britney, and Tony are also. As the mystery deepens, the three must soon try to figure out what happened.
Combining the tragedy of mass shootings into a fictional horror movie is a daunting task. Unsurprisingly, it is not one that Blood Conscious is able to consistently pull off. The problem is easy to ascertain; traditional horror conventions have to be tweaked in order to effectively deal with real world problems. It is not impossible – horror has always been a great at making social commentary. But like any other genre, the more serious the problem, the more difficult it is to satisfactorily convey the message.
Blood Conscious has a lot to say about race relations, and in many cases it is able to do so intelligently. The motives of the shooter are scary in a horror fiction sense, but are also troubling because it is the type of thing that may be said in real life. At times, the film does a great job of getting its message across. But when it does fail, it falls just short of tone deaf.
The film does a great job of injecting paranoia. This is most evident in the final act. The plot never dabbles in shads of grey, but it is impossible to tell who is telling the truth and how much of it. Adding to everything are the great performances. There is sincerity in Damicic’s seemingly crazed ramblings while the rest of the cast make sure there is always an air of suspicion. Each of the cast have great chemistry, making the immersion that much easier.
For all the good the writing accomplishes, one area that is lacking is the ending. The final moments of Blood Conscious are tense moments that will keep audiences captivated. It is a shame that the film decides to just end in what seems to be the middle of a scene. That does not take away from all the good the movie has done, but it is certainly noticeable. It is a fantastic idea that does not quite hit everything it is looking for.
Blood Conscious comes to select theaters and digital and VOD August 20
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