Blood Conscious gets off to a great start with a retro feel to the opening credits and score. These aspects along with the opening scene drew me in as a viewer, and there were several other factors that kept me watching.
The premise is this: Brittney (DeShawn White) and her fiancé Tony (Lenny Thomas) are headed to her parents’ cabin for vacation. They are joined by her younger brother, Kevin (Oghenero Gbaje). It’s clear from the get-go that there’s some tension between Kevin and Tony. Kevin is seen by both his sister and Tony as a “kid” and his opinions are initially dismissed.
Upon their arrival at the cabin, they discover their parents and other area residents have been murdered. They encounter the man responsible, who claims that those he killed were “demons”. After this event, the three are caught in a long night of terror and paranoia.
This movie was a fun watch. But it didn’t quite hit the mark as a standout for me. However, there were several great aspects that made it worthwhile, and I’d like to point those out before I discuss what didn’t work.
As mentioned, the opening scene and credits, along with the score, really got things rolling. The music continued to work well throughout the remainder of the film, and did its job by adding to the emotion.
I also enjoyed that I didn’t wait long before there was action. After the arrival at the cabin, it’s pretty much non-stop with very few lulls in between tense scenes. There’s clearly a message in this film—indirect social commentary related to issues of race and class.
The filmmakers did a great job of portraying fear, paranoia, and trust issues. Blood Conscious takes a close look at how these feelings are sparked within us, and how they can snowball over time.
The acting was solid across the board, but the standout in this film is Oghenero Gbaje as Kevin. He gave a great performance that helped carry the picture. My only complaint with the acting is based on the early scenes in which Kevin and Brittney discover their parents’ bodies.
I didn’t feel the shock and initial grief response was portrayed realistically. I know that the siblings encounter a dangerous person immediately after their discovery, and this interrupted their grieving process, but the emotions seem a bit too dampened in subsequent scenes.
The tension builds at a great pace, and remains consistent throughout the film, which I loved. The fear and paranoia that’s bred in the characters translates to the viewer, and this is another positive aspect of the film.
There was a lot of great buildup, but the ending fell flat to me, and that was my biggest struggle as a viewer. It almost felt like it was cut abruptly in the middle of a scene that had much more going for it, but never got there.
Overall it’s a tense film that’s likely to hook viewers and keep them interested, while delivering a subtle message amid the horror. With a better ending, this one would’ve gained higher marks from me. I do think the filmmakers showed a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing further developments in the future.
Blood Conscious is available in select theaters and on digital/VOD as of August 20.
WICKED RATING: 6/10