The success of Paranormal Activity has largely marginalized other forms of horror. Most horror movies nowadays are about the supernatural, and more often than not are shot in the found footage style. To its credit Blood Widow from Hell (simply known as Blood Widow abroad), bucks that trend a little bit, drawing more from the rich tradition of slasher horror flicks. Unfortunately, aside from a couple of scenes that revel in over-the-top violence, that’s all the credit one can really give the movie. It is devoid of creativity and skill, the entire project still severely lacking in inspiration.
Hugh and Laurie (Brandon Kyle Peters and Danielle Lilley) have just bought a secluded little property. Much to Laurie’s dismay, their first weekend there will not be as peaceful as she imagined. Hugh has apparently invited a bunch of friends over for a party, and those friends decide to explore the environs. They snoop around a neighboring property that’s in serious disrepair. Unbeknownst to any of them, the property was the scene of a major tragedy just a few years ago, and they’ve inadvertently awakened the wrath of a long dormant killer. And it isn’t long before Hugh, Laurie and their friends are fighting for their lives.
The movie opens with a lengthy sequence involving some random photographer who we don’t get to see ever again. And this first scene tells the audience a lot about the movie they’re about to see. First, the scene exists so that the film can open with a murder. This is important, because the first act of the movie is so boring that it’s completely unable to build and sense of impending. Second, it’s clear immediately at this point that the production is going to be subpar. The actor in this sequence, tasked only with pretending to shoot photographers, can’t even do that convincingly.
When we finally get to the start, it’s composed of nothing but the most clichéd elements of the slasher genre: annoying twentysomethings, remote location, decrepit surroundings, a lack of cell phone reception, and a generic masked killer. The movie’s heart just isn’t into telling any sort of story. The backstory of the killer is all explained in one big burst of exposition. It never gives the characters any sort of goal or any substantial conflict. They’re really just bags of meat being served up to this killer.
There’s no one to root, not a single character given enough of an arc to follow. It seems that the only thing the filmmakers wanted to accomplish was to show off a few gore effects. And the gore effects are fine as these things go, but they’re not worth sitting through an entire movie. Especially one so badly directed and badly acted. To be fair to the actors, they are the least of this film’s problems. Wonky editing makes gives the dialogue an uneven flow. And there’s precious little anybody could have done about the lines.
Blood Widow from Hell is severely uninteresting. This is the case where the filmmakers only set out to do the bare minimum. One can technically call it a movie, but even that would be kind of a stretch. It really is just a handful of violent scenes being held together by a whole lot of nothing. The slasher genre might actually be worth revisiting now. Maybe new filmmakers can find something new within its elements. But clearly, Blood Widow from Hell doesn’t care enough to do anything at all.