Saturday, October 8, 2016

Movie Review: "Blood in the Water" (2016)

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Movie"Blood in the Water"
Director: Ben and Orson Cummings
Rating: UR
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

A couple tell a police detective about the events which led to a shooting that took place at the home they are staying, an incident which left an old college friend dead.

Written and directed by Ben and Orson Cummings, "Blood in the Water" is a neo-noir crime thriller. It stars Willa Holland and Alex Russell as Veronica and Percy, a couple who have been together for over three years. They are housesitting for a wealthy relative of Veronica's in a lavish Los Angeles mansion. The film opens with the two appearing as if they have taken a beating when a police detective, played by David S. Lee, shows up at their door asking them to tell him their version of what happened the night before, which led to the death of their old friend, Freedgood, played by Miguel Gomez. The majority of the film takes place in this flashback as Veronica and Percy recount their tale to the officer.

"Blood in the Water" revolves around a story that involves drugs, money, mystery, thrills, and a love triangle as Veronica is Freedgood's ex, who started dating Percy while he was in prison on drug charges that Percy may or may not have been involved in as well. It feels like the movie wants to spin a mystery into something with a big shocking twist reveal, and while it is interesting, it's just not all that shocking. It almost feels like it really wants to be a "The Usual Suspects" type of thriller, but lacks the powerhouse acting abilities of its talented cast or the sharply written, finessed script that made it so incredible. The acting here isn't terrible, but it isn't spectacular, either. Miguel Gomez is the strongest link, playing an aggressive, stereotypical type of drug dealer as he forces his will upon Veronica and Percy. Willa Holland is passable, but a little bland, and Alex Russell seems to have a lot of trouble holding his American accent as his Australian twang pushes through on several occasions.

For a thriller, we always hope there will be a bit more tension and excitement than any other type of film. All of the tension and excitement in "Blood in the Water" is reserved for the final climactic scenes, leaving periods of dragging sprinkled throughout the rest of its run time. The pacing of this movie is methodical, and while this may be intentional, it genuinely feels slow at times. There are a couple of big, memorable moments, one that involves a job interview over video chat between Percy and the head of HR for a pharmaceutical company. Megan Weaver, played by Julie Dretzen, has the single best moment in the whole film, and she's only in one scene.

We have seen a lot of low budget films, some of which are good and some of which are bad.
"Blood in the Water" has a very pristine, mysterious, polished look and is competently made, though there aren't any real striking visuals, memorable acting, or varied plot points that set it apart from a very basic crime thriller. Still, it isn't absolutely dreadful, though we can't say we were overly enthralled by it.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 4.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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