FILM REVIEW: 2018 SPOOKY MOVIE INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FEST Selection - BLOOD PARADISE


Blood Paradise (2018) Directed by Patrick von Barkenberg.

Written by: Andréa Winter, Patrick von Barkenberg.

Starring: Andréa Winter, Patrick von Barkenberg, Rolf Brunnström

Blood Paradise is a basic slasher piece that comes to us all the way from Sweden. Robin Richards, played by Winter, is a mystery writer with an interest in S&M, but is having a mid-life crisis. Why, you ask? Well, after her most recent novel flops, she realizes that her relationship with her boyfriend, played by von Barkenberg, is going nowhere, and she decides to make a fresh start for her next novel. Taking the advise of her manager, Robin decides to spend some time on a quiet Swedish farm in the hopes of getting her writing mojo back.

Is this premise starting to sound familiar? Well, you would be right as Robin goes to the farm and discovers her driver is a devoted and obsessive fan. However, there is one caveat that one might argue is different in this Misery-esque film, and that is the presence of the driver's wife who is jealous of Robin - because her husband won't stop reading her books or talking about her. However, everything else is the same, that being the obsessed fan who has no concept of boundaries.

Winter and von Barkenberg draw heavily on troupes from movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, Misery, and a little bit of Silence of the Lambs to create the story for this movie. However, I will say that a great deal of effort was placed in using these tropes as best as possible. Winter pulls triple duty on this feature: not only as one of the movie's lead, but also as it's co-writer and musical scorer - which was very well-done. von Barkenberg, likewise, is not bad as the dead-beat boyfriend, but he sometimes oversells it. As for his directing, it's solid overall, getting better & better as the film progresses. Still, the film's best element is undoubtedly Christer Cavallius, who plays Hans, Robin's driver and obsessive & socially awkward fan - someone who's deceptively likeable, if not also a little moronic at the same time.

Overall rating: B-

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