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BLOOD RIVER: Adam Mason, the director of Broken and The Devil’s Chair, reigns down psychological madness and Old Testament-style vengeance in this nuanced fable that combines horror, drama and western influences. Clark (Ian Duncan) and his newly-pregnant wife Summer (Tess Panzer) are driving threw the Nevada desert on the way to deliver the news to her parents when their car breaks down. Taking refuge in a ghost town, the two meet a lone drifter (Andrew Howard) who believes he is God’s avenger and sets his sites on the two to answer for their supposed crimes. Beautifully-shot and expertly-crafted, Blood River is a disturbing little gem that never takes the easy way out. Mason weaves an unsettling character study and slowly ratchets up the tension, and while there are several grueling moments, he never resorts to “survival horror” or “torture porn” tactics. This is a dense, intelligent and thematically-rich film that never takes its audience for granted. That’s a rare thing in this day in age. 4 out of 5
Blood River
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By: MrDisgusting The American Film Market has left a bad taste in my mouth. After covering the event for the past four years it’s become apparent that 99% of the films being sold there are complete crap. With that said, there’s still that 1% that shine. Last year the Spanish horror flick [REC] blew all of our minds, while this year the honor goes to Adam Mason’s BLOOD RIVER, a low budget horror-thriller shot under the radar. Reteaming Mason with writer Simon Boyes (Broken, The Devil’s Chair), BLOOD RIVER also reunites Mason with DEVIL’S CHAIR star Andrew Howard, who deserved a lot more credit than was given to him in our review of the film. Co–written by Boyes and Mason, RIVER is a psychological thriller, which explores the destruction of a young couple's seemingly perfect marriage when they become stranded in the desert with another man by the name of Joseph (Howard). Without a shadow of a doubt, BLOOD RIVER is Adam Mason’s best film yet proving that this young director insists on learning from his previous mistakes and translating the lessons into his new films. What’s so incredibly astonishing about his latest film is how minimal the locations are and yet somehow the film remains interesting from start to finish. Boyes and Mason deliver a solid screenplay that’s exposition heavy, but done in such a way that it carries the film instead of hindering it. Without a solid actor to carry the film on his shoulders, a film loaded with so much chitchat could easily become a mega-disaster. Thankfully, Mason brought back Andrew Howard who plays his role with such dedication that it’s impossible to imagine that he’s anyone BUT Joseph, the seemingly sociopathic killer that’s stringing the married couple along for one hell of a ride. Mason’s directing style, blended with phenomenal cinematography, deliver a dark, desert-like yellow gritty look that puts the viewer on immediate edge the second the first frame hits the screen. For such a low budget film, it’s incredible some of the shots Mason delivers as he makes it look like he had a crew of a 1,000. And while BLOOD RIVER finds a way of blasting some Old Testament in your face, it’s never preaching to the viewer. The delivery is focused on the characters in the film and solely on them. At no point do you feel as if Boyes and Mason are trying to teach you a lesson (like that piece of crap HOUSE). RIVER is a genre-blending mind-f*ck that will give the viewer a taste of the Old West along with blood-soaked drama. The film finds a way to be intense from start to finish leaving the flaws few and far between (some scenes run a bit too long). Mason had delivered a rare indie film that everyone should be looking forward to and I only expect more from his film. Score: 8 / 10
Blood River
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