A promising start and intriguing idea, Blood Vessel falls apart the longer it goes on. The end result is a mish-mash of ideas that just fails to spark as it should.
Directed by Justin Dix who co-wrote it with Jordan Prosser, Blood Vessel is set during World War II. A hospital vessel is torpedoed and a group of survivors have been adrift at sea in a lifeboat. A mix of characters with different backgrounds and one defining trait that sums them up throughout the movie. Characters like the tough and no-nonsense Australian, the cowardly British officer, the greedy Italian cook, the American mechanic and the lone, caring female. These descriptions might sound lazy but it’s on par with what the film does for the characters.
Anyway, their hopes are lifted when they run into a German minesweeper that looks to be deserted. Climbing aboard, they find only a handful of corpses but plenty of Nazi gold. They appear to be alone, until they run into a young girl. One who claims her family are below and she wants to be reunited with them.
The film builds its horror reveal up fairly well as no-one will be expecting just what is in the cargo hold. So, what is it? Vampires. Yes, this is a vampire horror set on a Nazi boat in World War II. We can certainly say that exact angle hasn’t been done before.
These vampires too, a family as it will turn out, are quite unique. More bat then human and with the ability to control their victims from afar once bitten. It creates tension between the human survivors as to just who can be trusted.
However, it’s when the vampires are introduced that film really begins to go downhill and you can tell, ideas of where to take it were short. What felt mysterious and intense becomes cumbersome and boring to watch. The second half of the movie is wholly unmemorable as nothing really happens and you’re just waiting for the vampires to do something more. Which they rarely do, instead most of the action comes from thralls and the occasional cat and mouse segment.
Thrills and chills? Absolutely not. Meaningful angles and resolutions? Not with characters this bland and forgettable.
It does look nice though and the setting is cool. The blood is spilled, the monsters look great and it doesn’t have a happy ending. These are positives but they don’t outweigh the negatives sadly.
The Final Score - 5.5/10