Bad Blood – DVD Review

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Tiago Guedes and Frederico Serra


Adriano Luz Xavier Oliveira Monteiro
Manuela Couto Helena Oliveira Monteiro
Sara Carinhas Sofia
Afonso Pimentel Rui
Joáo Pedro Vez Father Cruz
Elisa Lisboa Dulce
Filipe Duarte Luis
Gonc Alo Waddington António
Maria D’aires Rosa
Miguel Borges Ismael

DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: Minutes

The Movie

The Monteiros are a happy family but they are done with life in which they currently live Lisbon gives nothing but temptation and trouble to the young children of the family and finally Xavier has an out for all of them. He has inherited a lavish mansion out in the country from his uncle and wants to move his entire family out there for a better life. They are not so happy about the move, but must comply with his wishes.

Xavier only wants the best for his family and while Helena outright agrees with her husband; she would still rather stay in the place they have always been in. Daughter Sofia is pregnant and also not married so obviously Xavier would like to get her away from any more trouble that she could fall into. His two sons Rui and Ricardo are extremely defiant in the move and considering he is the oldest, Rui chooses to stay behind and finish medical school. The rest of the family must pack up their belongings and head to their new lives.

Upon arriving at their new home, the Monteiros learn that things are going to be drastically from the city life they had known for so long. People out in the country still believe in many urban legends and tales; most of which stem from the place they now reside in. It isn’t just the tales that frighten them either, but the cult practices and exorcisms are so strange to them yet appear so normal to the rest of the townspeople. Things go from odd to worse when the superstitions about their home begin haunting them.

As more time is spent in the home, strange things begin happening. Villagers huddle in the trees surrounding the home and keep watch over it all the time. Voices are heard and objects are being moved when no-one is near them. Xavier and Helena seek help from the town priest Father Cruz who performs a séance to rid the home of evil spirits. Father Cruz is convinced that the strange happenings are nothing more then practical jokes to scare the “newcomers” in town. Xavier isn’t so sure though and as he digs more into the past; he finds out some frightening things about his family history that may be coming back to haunt them.

Bad Blood is, well it is interesting to say the least. It isn’t the best of films by far but it managed to keep my attention throughout with an intriguing story. If I were to compare the idea of the film to any other plot, then I’d have to go with Poltergeist. A family is somewhat dysfunctional, although the Monteiros are extremely, and move into a new home that should start things over for them. But once they get there, things are only made worse for the family’s everyday lives but it draws them together on another level. Yet please don’t think I’m putting it on the same level as Poltergeist because it isn’t.

Scares are few and far between here as the filmmakers obviously wanted to focus on the family and the overall story/history of the mansion. The plot is rather in depth and fun as it unravels while the mood, atmosphere, and musical score keep things rather spooky. At the same time, the beautiful scenery keeps the air light during the day and even creepier at night. In the horror world, it isn’t often that you hear of a film being labeled as “Portuguese Horror.” If memory serves, this is my first experience into it and Bad Blood really wasn’t a bad start at all.

The Video

The film is shown in 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and with the landscapes and settings they had to work with, it shows really beautifully. Colors are bright and sharp while the darker scenes are never totally black which is good. It has an old look to it also which makes for a great feel.

The Audio

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and also sounds phenomenal. One of the things that was done perfectly for Bad Blood was the musical score that is great and really sets the mood of the whole film. It is heard nicely throughout while never overpowering the dialogue although it may not matter since most of you will be reading subtitles like me.

Special Features

The Making Of Bad Blood – This is about a twenty minute featurette that is quite informative. The directors first discuss how they know everyone would hear the words “Portuguese horror film” and wonder what that is exactly. The actors join in and say it is a horror film, but in a different sense so that it is more of a disturbing film. Directors Guedes and Serra also talk about how they started watching many horror films so they could get ideas and mesh a lot of things together with their own. Bad Blood has a lot of true cultural legends as well that are put into the film, and I didn’t realize. They are talked about more in depth in this feature and really make more of the film seem understandable now. It’s a shame this “making of” was only twenty minutes because it was really good.

Original Theatrical Trailer

TrailersRed Road, Sheitan, Slaughter Night, Dorm, Silk, The Maid, and Bloody Reunion

The Inside Pulse

For delving into the world of Portuguese Horror, I’m giving them a lot of credit because it’s new to someone like me and I watch horror films on a daily basis. Some things were done right, but there were a lot of things missed or simply done halfway and it left a lot to be desired as an actual horror film. A few more attempts and they could truly be onto something. The special features are good but so bare and that’s a shame. The “making of” featurette was excellent, but then that’s all we really get. I hope that these directors get together again or at least start working on their own P-horror films because it’d be a shame for them to give up now. Check out Bad Blood as a rental because there is a lot of work to do but with some effort and research, then I think a new wrinkle in the horror genre could get a lot more attention.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Bad Blood
(OUT OF 10)