‘From the nightmares of Clive Barker’
Books of Blood is a 2020 American horror anthology feature film with three tales tangled in space and time.
Directed by Brannon Braga (Salem series) from a screenplay written co-written with Adam Simon (Salem), based on The Books of Blood by Clive Barker (Lord of Illusions; Nightbreed; Hellraiser; also an executive producer), the movie stars Andy McQueen (Disappearance at Clifton Hill; Fahrenheit 451), Saad Siddiqui (Slasher TV series), Cory Lee (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) and Farid Yazdani.
“Books of Blood has only a handful of creepy moments, and it never delivers the prolonged sense of unease that comes from Barker’s best stories […] Taking place almost entirely in a single nondescript town, Books of Blood feels generic and anonymous, the opposite of what Barker fans would hope to see from an adaptation of one of his seminal works.” CBR.com
“After a slow start, Books of Blood generally lives up (or down) to its title, but the three sort-of interconnected stories don’t add much too much […] The main problem is there’s a whole lot of scary out there this time of year, and Books of Blood winds up in a sort-of creative no-man’s land. Even for undemanding souls, this is a pretty skeletal construct.” CNN
“Professional performances and a quality production, albeit one that screams TV more than movie, ensure Books of Blood can never truly become “bad.” It’s merely mediocre […] This Books of Blood is another average anthology that no one would think to connect to Clive Barker if his name weren’t used to promote it.” Culture Crypt
“None of this makes sense thematically or narratively. It’s interminably boring. Scares and atmosphere are in short supply. The forced continuity of the stories is shoddy. That these three plots would tangle together in such a random fashion suggests that the world of the movie is deeply haunted by omnipresent demons and specters, so it must be under Republican leadership too.” Decider
“Thankfully one saving grace on this project are the VFX which prove suitably B-movie in origin, but contemporary in execution. Flashes of Hellraiser come through recalling Barker’s directorial debut, while full-body prosthetics also get their moment to shine alongside some effective jump scares. Beyond that, this feels like a wasted opportunity…” Flickering Myth
“It’s a fun concept and the interwoven crossovers do deliver a few moments that will leave you looking like Leonardo DiCaprio pointing at his television, but for the most part, it will just leave you wanting to watch Trick ‘r Treat. Still, if you want a new horror story to enjoy, you could do much worse than this new Hulu original film.” Laughing Place
“Synthesizing its three-ish storylines into a single narrative without a clear thematic purpose, Books of Blood becomes a shaggy-dog story with a few impressively macabre moments and images. It also pulls together sometimes-disparate horror-movie influences. It’s fun to spot bits of Texas Chainsaw Massacre here and the Insidious series there.” Polygon
Books of Blood premiered on Hulu on October 7th 2020.
Cast and characters:
Saad Siddiqui … Dan
Cory Lee … Chelsea
Andy McQueen … Steve
Seamus Patterson … Tony
Etienne Kellici … Miles
Catherine Burdon … Doctor
Glenn Lefchak … Balsam
Sean Skerry … Lasky
Ethan Brown … Half-dead Grandchild