‘Everyone has their demons’
Blood Conscious is a 2021 American horror thriller about a vacationing family that turns the tables on a mass shooter. The latter claims to be fighting demonic forces.
Written and directed by Timothy Covell – making his feature film debut – the Old Bear Film production stars Oghenero Gbaje, DeShawn White, Lenny Thomas and Nick Damici (Late Phases; Stake Land and its sequel; We Are What We Are). Produced by Christina Behnke and Timothy Covell.
Kevin, his older sister, Brittney, and her fiancé, Tony, set off to their parents’ lakeside cottage expecting a leisurely weekend getaway but little did they expect the horror that awaits them. Their holiday turns into a trip from hell as they enter a scene of mass murder, where their parents and neighbours on this side of the lake all lie dead.
Terror strikes when the armed murderer confronts them, saying that he is fighting demonic forces that had possessed them all. They pin him down and lock him up in the cellar but soon he claims not to be alone down there. As unexpected and traumatic events keep unfolding they will have to find a way to survive the night without turning on each other, or becoming possessed…
“The thrills rely heavily on dialogue versus action, and it ends on a shocking yet abrupt note that raises a few more questions. The answers it does provide may also bring disappointment for some, depending on expectations. Blood Conscious is a quick, small-scaled thrilled that offers some humor to balance the darkness.” Bloody Disgusting
“I wanted to like the movie more since the look of the movie was pretty good, and Oghenero Gbaje did some nice acting, but horror movies don’t always need to have a social message, just make them scary and bloody, or at least suspenseful and funny.” Entertainment Ave!
“Covell’s screenplay is well written with realistic and thoughtful dialogue and engaging main characters, though the amount of mystery at play in the climax may prove frustrating to some viewers. He directs wonderfully, with a fine sense of suspense and pacing, and an obvious knowledge of and love for horror films.” Horror Fuel
” …when it’s good, it’s genuinely great. The sense of mania brought on by not knowing if someone is a demon vs if the stranger is lying about it all in the first place is constantly hanging over the film. When the paranoia hits its peak near the end, it becomes immensely more interesting. Oghenero Gbaje is also excellent as the film’s male lead…” Josh at the Movies
“The concept and approach kept me constantly guessing, and while I wasn’t always dazzled by where it took me, the fact that it felt fresh and unexplored was enough for me to give props where they’re due. While it may air more on the side of a thriller than a hardened gorehound might care for, Blood still proves a nasty and socially conscious piece of work.” Killer Horror Critic
“The tension is masterfully built. In the opening scene, we get to know just enough about the characters and their relationships to empathize with them. The forest is so disorienting that the threat can come from anywhere. But it is not entirely clear which threat exactly, because we only know the same thing as the characters. And that is exactly the strength of the film.” Modern Myths [translated from Dutch]
“It creates thin ice that permeates the ground beneath the entire runtime. That this ice never breaks and only continues to become more interesting—feels like watching someone juggle chainsaws. A truly tension-filled dark comedy that does so much with so little it’s impossible to not appreciate exactly what it has accomplished.” The Pitch
” …as paranoid psychological horror, it largely succeeds. As circumstances constantly shift we’re left guessing who and what to believe. As the night wears on, paranoia grows and even family ties start to come undone that becomes harder and harder to do […] For all its strengths though, Blood Conscious has one of the weakest endings I’ve seen recently.” Voices from the Balcony
Blood Conscious had its world premiere at Kosmoroma Trondheim International Film Festival 2021. Festival blurb:
“Creepy, well-played, smart and original – Blood Conscious is a breath of fresh air in the well-known genre of cabin horror that takes paths you might not expect. A little gem that comes in the wake of films such as Get Out (2017) and Us (2019)… Blood Conscious is an impressive, mature feature film debut from director Timothy Covell, who right from the get-go throws us a curveball with this gripping horror-thriller.”
In the USA, Blood Conscious was released by Dark Sky Films theatrically in select locations and on Digital/VOD platforms on August 20, 2021.
Cast and characters:
Oghenero Gbaje … Kevin
DeShawn White … Brittney
Lenny Thomas … Tony
Lori Hammel … Margie
Nick Damici … The Stranger
Jacklyn Collier … Red-haired Woman
Annette Adams-Brown … Mom
Jean-Remy Monnay … Dad
Aspect ratio: 1.33: 1