Monday, April 2, 2007

A Thousand Words: Bloodline (2007)

In this short film by Tempered Zealot Productions geeky teen Steven (Jason Morris) has a crush on Jennifer (Suzanne Camilli) and loves photography. When Jennifer's jock boyfriend catches Steven taking photos of his girl, he warns him to stay away from her. When he catches Steven talking to her again, he and his jock friend give Steven a good thrashing. What they don't know is that Steven's dad (Louie Cowan) is a vicious serial killer who enjoys photographing his victims. When Jennifer's boyfriend's parents leave for the weekend, Steven's dad takes bloody revenge on the boy and his friends.
Written and directed by J. Michael Lewis and Jerod Brennen, A Thousand Words: Bloodline is a short but vicious low-budget film that is very professionally done. For a short, low-budget film, it is amazing how both the story and the direction are so well-done. While the story isn't groundbreaking or original, it still takes time to develop the characters and set up the plot, which is always harder than it looks. The creepy mood is set from the beginning as Steven's dad stalks and kills a pretty young woman to the flashbacks of Steven's cruel and overbearing mother who meets a grisly end.

The acting is done very well, especially by lead Morris as Steven. Morris plays Steven as a shy teen in the beginning, but gradually reveals more and more about the character. He has the ability to convey emotion with just a look. Cowan plays Steven's father equally well, with a quiet menacing presence that is just plain creepy.

Though the film has a short running time of 26 minutes, it still packs a punch. My only complaint is that the story is a little typical, but should it be developed into a feature (as is planned by the filmmakers) it could easily be bulked it up and more depth added.

A Thousand Words: Bloodline has been submitted to festivals and the filmmakers' primary focus is to develop the concept as a feature. If this 26 minute short is any indication, these filmmakers will go far and are definitely ones to watch in the horror genre.

Tempered Zealot Productions Official Site

A Thousand Words: Bloodline on IMDB

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