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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 03.14.11] United Kingdom movie news thriller drama vampires



Year: 2009
Director: Simon Aitken
Writer: Ben Woodiwiss
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

I love a good tale of vampires struggling with their inner demons but considering how prominently and thoroughly Anne Rice’s take on that struggle has embedded itself in popular culture, many of the films that have come since the introduction of Louis have been a variation on themes directly drawn from Rice’s work. That’s not a bad thing but after a while, it gets boring.

Enter British filmmaker Simon Aitken who, for his first full length feature, tackles Ben Woodwiss’ script which plays on some of the themes and plot lines were familiar with. But Blood + Roses, as familiar as the story feels, manages to breathe some new life into the struggle to lose humanity completely and take on the life of hunter.

The story focuses on Jane and Martin, a young couple who retreat to the countryside in an attempt to rekindle their relationship. From the get-go it’s clear that Martin is a demanding SOB, the kind of guy you wouldn’t date for more than a week never mind marry. He’s flippant and apparently more interested in his own needs than in rescuing his relationship. After a steamy encounter with a vampire, Jane starts her change into a creature of the night but to complete her transformation she must first take a life. When, during her “recuperation,” she discovers that her husband is even more ruthless than we imagined, he becomes the most likely victim of Jane’s hunger.


I’m a bit surprised that Woodwiss’ script takes on such a familiar story but kudos to him and the production team that they manage to make Blood + Roses not only appealing but entertaining. I found myself drawn into the story from the opening scene and though it took me a bit of time to get past my immediate dislike of Martin, I was curious to see how the relationship between him and his wife developed and even though it was pretty clear from the onset that Jane would be exacting some sort of revenge for the wrongs he inflicted on her (a subtle hint of which is dropped early on), her form of revenge was unexpected.

There are quite a few factors that feed into the film’s success starting with the cast, particularly Kane John Scott who is very good as the unlikable husband. I was a little unsure about Marysia Kay in the role of Jane but I enjoyed seeing her transformation from timid wife to assured woman. I also love the effects which are low-key and fit beautifully into this story which is, for the most part, grounded in reality. While the story is familiar Woodwiss’ script keeps the dialogue and plot moving at a comfortable pace and director Simon Aitken pulls it all together into an entertaining 80 minute package.

I was intrigued by the trailer for Bood + Roses and am happy that the film delivers on the promise of the trailer. This quiet vampire tale may not offer up any new angles but it beautifully executes the story it sets out to tell while showing promise of more great things to come from the writing and directing duo of Woodwiss & Aitken.

Blood + Roses is now available for order through Amazon or streaming via the film’s official website.

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Anonymous (8 years ago) Reply

Please review this next:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1017442/

it needs your love!


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