‘A growing boy needs to eat’
Bad Blood is a 2021 British horror film about a social worker who takes a withdrawn homeless boy into her care… not suspecting that he is a vampire.
Written, directed and co-produced by Eric Steele. Also produced by Barry Morton.
The movie stars Laura Montgomery Bennett, Lennon Leckey, Natasha Naomi Rea and Adrian Palmer.
“George A. Romero’s Martin as directed by Alan Clarke is a good descriptor for Eric Ian Steele’s striking debut movie. An unusual take on vampire lore, Boy #5 has the confidence to play loose with the myth (sunlight is no problem here), creating its own rule book.” 4/5 Electric Shadows
“There are a couple of shaky supporting performances here but overall it’s remarkable what Steele has achieved on a low budget. This isn’t just a decent achievement under the circumstances – it’s a film that serious genre fans should make an effort to seek out and the first really important contribution to cinema’s take on vampire mythology for a long time.” 4/5 Eye for Film
“The last fifteen minutes don’t exactly make the other fifty-five worth it, but if you’re a big vampire fan and you can spare about an hour of boredom, you might want to give this movie a shot for the third act alone. But if you don’t want to slog through the first two acts to get to the good stuff, then I’d suggest skipping this one…” Horror Obsessive
” …the most unusual, twisted character in the film is not the inhuman monster who looks like a helpless child but the mumsy, caring, jittery, ultimately ruthless woman who feels compelled to invest so much in her charge that all other concerns become expendable. At 72 minutes, without much in the way of showy action or effects, it is a novella rather than an epic […] but all the more satisfying for that.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“Unfortunately, the film suffers from its budgetary limitations, the storyline and background information under-developed and the character depth never fully plumbed. Marjorie forms an almost maternal instinct with Nathan and whilst – due to her past – this is understandable, it would have been more compelling to explore this fledgling connection between the two characters more fully.” 2/5 Moving Pictures Film Club
” …these are mostly dull characters – the vampire says very little and has little to no presence about him. Things do pick-up in the final third and I guess this kind of slow burn type of movie is what the director is going for but many people will have lost interest by then.” Nerdly
” …it is left to the viewer to disentangle how much of that horror is supernatural, and how much purely psychological. Steele’s Loachian approach to his material turns what is clearly a very low budget to the film’s advantage, as he paints a grim portrait of a boy’s, a woman’s and a city’s alienation.” Projected Figures
“Ben Ripley’s moody cinematography brilliantly captures the grimy side of Manchester’s nightlife, from dolled-up clubbers to scurrying rats. This contrasts with the clean and ‘safe’ surroundings of the house he’s put in. For a first feature (for most involved), Boy #5 might be a little ragged around the edges, but it’s a compelling drama…” 3/5 Starburst
The film had its world premiere at the virtual FrighFest on 28th August 2021.
Cast and characters:
Tosca Bell … Talia
Montgomery Bennett … Marjorie
Brian Dunne … Alan
Omaymah El Habti … Pram Girl
Michael Kehoe … Valentin
Lennon Leckey … Nathan
Alisha Osman … Nina
Adrian Palmer … George
Natasha Naomi Rea … Elaine
Johnny Topping … Doctor
Adam Weldrick … Police Officer