Runtime: 95 mins
Directed by: #JustinDix
Grimmfest Feature by: Darren Tilby
Synopsis: Somewhere in the North Atlantic, late 1945, a life raft is adrift at sea and in it, the survivors of a torpedoed hospital ship. With no food, water, or shelter, all seems lost – until an abandoned German minesweeper drifts ominously towards them, giving them one last chance at survival.
Grimmfest say: As if war doesn’t have horrors enough already… Juggling its genres with considerable cunning, this savvy little shocker splices story tropes from Bram Stoker and John W. Campbell (by way of John Carpenter) into a gripping. fast-paced wartime “men on a mission” narrative, as the bickering band of mismatched survivors must overcome their differences and work together to defeat a greater evil even than the Nazis. The sharply played characters ring deft changes on familiar war movie archetypes without ever feeling stereotyped; there’s a focus on professionalism over heroic bluster which recalls the work of Howard Hawks, and some of the hardboiled cynicism of Robert Aldrich or Sam Fuller. In short, you are in the hands of filmmakers who know their stuff. And who are not afraid to throw a few unexpected curveballs along the way. It’s a real crowd-pleaser.
What I'm Expecting: I can’t begin to express how excited I am for Blood Vessel. It’s been far too long since we had a good ghost ship-based creature-feature. I grew up on creature-features – a personal favourite of mine was the criminally underrated Deep Rising (1998) – but the last half-decent of these films to have had this setting, that I can remember, was Ghost Ship (2002). But with the recent release of the movie-like game Man of Medan, and now Blood Vessel, I’m cautiously optimistic that this shockingly underused setting is making a comeback. And the most enjoyable aspects of horror movies with the ghost ship setting? The mystery and unravelling of events and the claustrophobic atmosphere. That’s what I’d like Blood Vessel to be: a simmering pot of suspense and tension, preferably laden with good and bloody practical special effects. But most of all, I want the opportunity to reconnect with the sub-genre of horror I grew up loving.