Blood Born is a 2021 American horror film about a couple that enlists the aid of a doula so they can have a baby.
Written and directed by Reed Shusterman (short: Goblin Queen).
The Epic Level Entertainment production stars Rosie Moss, Antoine Perry, Melanie Haynes and Laurine Price.
A couple who are about to give up on their dream of having children find a doula who promises a magical solution to their infertility problems, but when she moves in for a series of strange, taxing rituals, overseen by a charming – but dangerous – doctor, they find out that the magic is extremely risky and that the baby they’re about to have might not be quite human…
With Blood Born, writer-director Reed Shusterman has created an engaging film, filled with characters an audience can both easily root for (obviously, the would-be parents) and those that seem downright untrustworthy (the insidious foundation).
Initially, Blood Born works well at being playful and humourous despite the couple’s angst about their inability to conceive. Then, the darker elements creep in gradually (with some of the matter-of-factness ‘magick’ recalling Rosemary’s Baby), before the full-blown horror that develops.
Unfortunately, the clearly telegraphed terror isn’t enough to provide a horrific ending that shocks. It’s all too obvious. So, while the film is enjoyable, well-acted and executed, there’s just not enough here for a solid feature in itself and the story may have worked better as part of an anthology movie. That said, Blood Born is an eminently likeable film in its own weird way, so perhaps it will find an audience of angst-ridden parents fearing the worst and looking for some dark comedy yet light relief?
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“The cast all do a great job and are perfectly cast, with the film setting all the players in place so the audience may know what to expect. So, if you’re not looking for anything too deep or surprising then Blood Born may be the genre horror for you. Also, the special effects and the depth into which the script deals with mixing the medical and the supernatural may raise a few smiles among parents.” Battle Royale with Cheese
” …Blood Born is watchable, but it’s hardly essential viewing. If the filmmakers had been able to show a little bit more of what was going on in the last few minutes the film may have had a bit more impact […] It might be more effective if you’re pregnant, but otherwise, it’s something to kill time with and not much more.” Voices from the Balcony
Terror Films will release Blood Born on July 16, 2021.
Director Reed Shusterman’s statement:
“Having a baby is inherently irrational. It’s hard, expensive, potentially dangerous to the mother, and full of unknowns. In a best-case scenario, you end up with an expensive, part-time monster who, after 20-plus years, will hopefully be a moderately functional adult. But people keep doing it, frequently on purpose. And when they try and can’t, they’ll go to extraordinary lengths to get the family they want. It’s not a big leap to see why Eric and Makayla are willing to believe a weird old lady who promises them a magical solution to their problem.
I started development on Blood Born right when my wife and I had just decided to start having a baby. And, in a very literal interpretation of ‘write what you know,’ I wrote about that.
On one level this movie is about the general fears of pregnancy and parenthood, like what happens to you/your partner’s body and the physical space the baby will take up. But what really scared me into making this movie was how much a baby would change me. I’d no longer be the most important person in my wife’s life. Hell, I wouldn’t be the most important person in my own life. In a certain way, I’d be giving up myself, my being.
When this story starts, Eric and Makayla have already given up so much in their attempts to have a baby. Inviting a witch doctor to live with you for a week isn’t any more disruptive to your life than a round of IVF. But as the magic–and impending baby–get more and more real, Eric starts to question whether or not the sacrifices are worth it.
I’ve discovered that there’s a lot of overlap between parenthood and making your first feature film. They are freight trains of momentum that cannot be slowed down. They are chaotic, scary, and stressful. But there is discovery in both, of things you’d never expect through, respectively, genetics or a fantastically talented cast and crew.
Blood Born is full of things that are scary and gross, monstrous and joyous. I am enormously proud of this film. It’s a character-driven, strange, off-kilter dive into a kind of fear that, to me, is far scarier than killers or ghosts: How, miracle of life or not, the beginning of parenthood is the end of everything you know. And as they say… All babies are monsters.”
Cast and characters:
Rosie Moss … Makayla
Antoine Perry … Eric
Melanie Haynes … Ola
Laurine Price … Cherise
Cole Gerdes … Doctor Zekeny
Leah Verrill … Susan
Stacey Moseley … Marcia
Jody Jaress … Lilith
Tracy Winters … Greta
Jennifer Daley … Laura
Chelsey Donn … Chloe
Justin Giddings … Father
Ryann Turner … Mother
Colin Cassidy … Narrator
Teri Gamble … Carrie
1 hour 32 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1