‘Fear your own blood’
A Taste of Blood is a 2020 Argentinian-Singaporean supernatural horror film about the uncertain hours after a vampire hunt – when it’s unclear if the hunter has himself been turned into a creature of the night. Will his family find out in time, or will their sentiment make them easy prey for the novice nightwalker? Also known as Vurdulak Blood
Written and directed by Santiago Fernández Calvete (Tríada; Intimate Witness; The Second Death; co-writer of The Exorcism of God) based on Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy’s 1839 short story ‘The Family of the Vourdalak’.
Produced by Martin Aliaga, Natalí Córdoba, Justin Deimen, Roxana Ramos, Abhi Rastogi and Paola Suarez.
The Aramos Cine-Jaque Content co-production stars Germán Palacios, Tomás Carullo Lizzio, Alfonsina Carrocio, Naiara Awada, Martín Rena and Lautaro Bettoni.
There is a good level of intrigue and tension in Calvete’s film, particularly because the bloodsucking focus is on the family members themselves. The production is also well-mounted, with suitably sombre lighting and drab settings that emphasise the claustrophobic atmosphere and the actors’ performances come across as genuine and sincere.
Unfortunately, the version under review has an odd mix of awkward English dubbing and Spanish language subtitles which is confusing and throws the viewer out of the narrative. The soundtrack score also includes some feeble synth tracks – presumably added by US distributors and record label Cleopatra – that are entirely at odds with the tone of the movie.
A Taste of Blood is an ok watch but the post-production meddling leaves it an unsatisfying experience; we can only assume that Santiago Fernández Calvete is a very frustrated filmmaker as a result.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“Calvete directs masterfully and elevates the proceedings from an initial sense of unease to constant dread to mounting terror. He builds suspense and tension marvelously while escalating the family drama. The ensemble cast is rock solid…” 4/5 The Scariest Things
“It is curious how the family becomes relevant within the story and how it becomes the protagonist at times, maintaining a pulse face to face with the main theme that leads the film, situations of tension. The interpretation of Germán Palacios and a small space where there is no room for doubt, are the tools that make it possible.” Terror Weekend
” …a film with some good moments and solid effects that looks like it was a lot better in its original form. Left entirely subtitled and without the out-of-place songs, A Taste of Blood would have been a superior entry in the vampire genre. As it stands it’s watchable but that’s all.” Voices from the Balcony
Cast and characters:
Germán Palacios … Aguirre
Tomás Carullo Lizzio … Alexis
Alfonsina Carrocio … Natalia
Naiara Awada … Eva
Martín Rena … Lautaro
Lautaro Bettoni … Manuel
Beto Bernuéz … Papá de Alexis
Carmela Merediz … Malena
Julieta Daga … Mamá de Alexis
Jose Manuel Solis Vargas … López