BLOOD VESSEL (2019) Reviews and overview

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Blood Vessel is a 2019 Australian horror feature film directed by Justin Dix from a screenplay co-written with Jordan Prosser. The Wicked of Oz Studios production stars Nathan Phillips, Christopher Kirby and John Lloyd Fillingham.


Somewhere in the North Atlantic, late 1945. A lift raft adrift at sea, and in it, the survivors of a torpedoed hospital ship: With no food, water, or shelter, all seems lost – until an abandoned German minesweeper drifts ominously towards them, giving them one last chance at survival…


On July 21st 2020, Blood Vessel was released on DVD and Digital platforms across North America.

[May contain spoilers] Reviews:

” …this feature brings a lot to the screen, despite the over-used haunted ship cliche. If you have seen Ghost Ship (2002) or Triangle (2009), you are going to know how some of this film develops. Still, everything in the visual sphere looks great, while the finale offers a great coup-de-grace, along with a memorable last line: “this bloody war.” 28 Days Later Analysis

Blood Vessel may not rock your socks off with spectacle. But solid sound design, acting, and a tight texture of terror demonstrate the difference passionate effort makes to elevate a midrange horror movie from standard Syfy fare to a terrific thriller with a streamlined style that’s simply refreshingly entertaining.” Culture Crypt

“Finally, a vampire film that doesn’t suck. Filled with amazing special effects, buckets of blood and viscera, and enough jump scares to require a heart attack warning at the beginning of the movie, Blood Vessel is most definitely a contender for Best Australian Horror Film of 2019.” Film Moxie

Blood Vessel is a well put together and enjoyable horror adventure tale. I like seeing vampires who are scary and unsettling. This movie delivers a family of them. I strongly recommend this movie for horror fans. It might seem like a typical storyline, but the presentation of it makes it worth seeing. The setup and delivery are spot on and even if it is predictable in parts, it was fun.” Guild Master Gaming

Blood Vessel is one of those films that is full of surprises complemented by some terrific FX work that really puts you on edge as you attempt to make sense of their discovery. Combine this with the claustrophobic setting of an old ship, with its cramped cabins and corridors, one that is seemingly sailing unmanned across the Atlantic, is sure enough to put the heebie-jeebies up you.” Horror Cult Films

” …it’s confusing, badly executed and, at times, laughable. Admittedly, the last 30 minutes of Blood Vessel are more entertaining, because things start happening and the story moves forward, but even that part (heavily inspired by schlock like Van Helsing, 2004, for some reason) feels more like a TV-movie from the early 2000s.” Horror World & Reviews

“Though its comic bookishness means it works more as a ripping yarn than a blood-chilling horror tale – the same is true of that BBC Dracula episode, as it happens – it’s a very likeable mash-up of genres and influences.  And the final moments – and punchline – do have a bite that has little to do with fangs.” The Kim Newman Web Site

” …Blood Vessel doesn’t provide any surprises. This isn’t a bad thing, because honestly we know what we are getting with this movie. If anything we just wait for the blood to flow. What I did like about Blood Vessel was the fact that the action takes place in an environment that is small, and doesn’t try to create horror on a grand scale. If anything this keeps the horror contained and focused on the small crew…” Nerdly

“The opening vessel appearing, along with the first search of the ship, is all built up wonderfully, filling the audience with the tension and fear of the unknown. Where this gets lost is when we start to see what everything onboard is, and it takes away most of the tension, forcing us into a more action-centric horror…” Ready Steady Cut!

“Plenty of plasma is spilled, to Blood Vessel’s credit, but it still plays coy past the point we’ve all caught up […] Blood Vessel’s vampires act as you know they do. Whether budgetary or artistic, the choice to keep one foot on the brake, stopping just shy of unbridled blood-sucking chaos, leaves the last half hour dry.” Screen Fervor

“Dix returns that which he has borrowed with interest; while horror buffs will spot the references, attention is never drawn away from the on-screen action. Bathing his supernatural thriller in rich blues, deep blacks and primal reds, Dix crafts a closed-quarters, claustrophobic nail-biter that belies its mid-range budget through the use of skillful set design, expertly rendered miniatures and icky gore effects.” Screen-Space

” …some parallels to 1986’s Aliens are of course obvious, but that’s really only up to a point as this film, the longer it goes, really develops legs of its own and veers off into another direction. And ultimately it really delivers in the action and spectacle department with a pretty explosive finale to make this one rather cool genre entertainment.” Search My Trash

“A well-directed, situational horror film with gorgeous cinematography (Sky Davies) and superb special effects (John Sanderson) is what awaits anyone daring enough to hop aboard. And while the problems with pacing meant it didn’t reach my expectations, I’m quite aware this is likely because I was expecting too much.” UK Film Review

“Dix’s effects credits include The Babadook, The Loved Ones and Dying Breed. And as you might expect, he made sure the effects for Blood Vessel were top notch. From the creature design to the dead bodies everything is very well done. It’s also, with the possible exception of one scene, all done without CGI. And that’s what a creature feature like this needs to make its action believable.” Voices from the Balcony

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Cast and characters:

Nathan Phillips … Sinclair
Christopher Kirby … Jackson
John Lloyd Fillingham … Faraday
Steve Young … Haas
Mark Diaco … Bigelow
Alex Cooke … Teplov
Troy Larkin … The Patriarch

Filming locations:

Williamstown, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


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