Directed by: Jeremiah Buckhalt
Producers: Chad Coup, Ian H. Davis (associate), Derek Marunowski (associate), Kim Carlisle (associate), Michael Wotherspoon (associate), William Kavan (associate)
Starring: Danielle Lilley, Brandon Kyle Peters, Christopher de Padua, Jose Miguel Vasquez, Kelly Kilgore
A young couple buys a house in the country. Before they have a chance to unpack a few friends arrive with the intention of throwing a party at the new place. While they are visiting, these friends decide to explore the creepy, abandoned boarding school next door. After the friends return to the house they all throw a party. This proves to be a bad idea, which means that we’re in for business as usual as far as slasher flicks go.
Blood Widow felt like a modern attempt at recreating a few of the slasher films we love from the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, the aspects which really bore the strongest resemblance to the older movies were not necessarily the most positive. The movie featured a fair amount of bad acting, though how that was presented differed from actor to actor and scene to scene. Beyond their poor representation, the characters themselves were just not people that I wanted to see live. This is partly because I’m a terrible human being, but also because the flat characters seemed incredibly uninteresting, even for the slasher genre. Add to this the fact that no one in the film seemed to have any remnants of sense or intelligence in their head and you’ll understand why, fairly early on, I stopped telling the figures on my monitor that they should run and started rooting for the Blood Widow.
One thing about the film which pleasantly reminded me of my past slasher flick favorites was the blood spray. Gorehounds will definitely find comfort in the hack and slash approach of Blood Widow, and the special effects do not disappoint. You’ll see everything from decapitation and evisceration to blunt force trauma and torture. (Remember, this aspect of the movie also felt like an 80s revival, so I don’t judge the severed limbs or heads too harshly in the effects department.) The combination of weapons used and the fondness for gushing blood reminded me unexpectedly of the Scream series.
My favorite thing about Blood Widow was the design of the villain herself (pictured above). I thought that her character design and costume were excellent. In shots with good lighting, her creepy silhouette looked menacing due to the full body leather and feature-obscuring mask. In darker shots it was difficult to see anything but the Blood Widow’s mask. There are fewer things more chilling than watching someone being chased by a homicidal disembodied head. This film really helped drive home the idea that the less you are able to see of something, the spookier it is. By hiding all of the Widow’s facial features, skin, and hair, the villain ceases to be human and immediately gives off the impression that she is something more.
Overall, I think Blood Widow is the kind of movie that you watch when you’re with a group of horror fans who are looking for a laugh, but it isn’t something I feel the need to watch again. The movie seems to take itself seriously, but in my opinion, it is a little too over the top to make it work. Adding a bit of deliberate humor would have given the impression that the movie wasn’t as serious as the dark premise makes it out to be, so the stupidity of the characters could have been dismissed as a purposeful attempt at entertainment rather than an unfortunate side effect of the slasher genre. The film doesn’t contain jump scares or any orchestral intrusions the way that most contemporary horror films do, so I can’t imagine even the least horror-inclined watcher being outright frightened so much as disgusted by the carnage of the Widow. Although the imagery definitely lends itself to being creepy, if you’re anything like me you’ll spend most of the film trying to chastise the characters for their foolish decisions and cheering each time someone meets their bloody end.