AUTUMN BLOOD [2014]

Originally written for:

SALTYLOGO6

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Directed by Markus Blunder and Written by Stephen T. Barton and Markus Blunder

Starring: Sophie Lowe, Peter Stormare, Maximilian Harnisch, Gustaf Skarsgård

Why?

That was the prevalent thought going through my mind as I watched this ‘thriller’. Why is she doing that? Why are these men so violent? Why is no one talking?Now thrillers obviously thrive on this notion, adding tension by holding its cards close and forcing the viewer to ask this very question. However, in Autumn Blood, none of these questions are answered. At all. This could be due to the fact that it seems that the filmmakers forgot to hire a scriptwriter, as while it isn’t a long movie, clocking in at 96mins, there couldn’t have been more than twenty lines of dialogue, and the only thrill this movie delivered was when two characters actually had a conversation, albeit one that did not last long at all. This is a movie that doesn’t know when to stop when it comes to ambiguity.

The film begins with children working on a farm at the top of a mountain, ‘off the grid’, when suddenly their father decides to race down the track with a shotgun, only to be shot himself. Why? Who knows, I certainly don’t and the movie gave me little reason to try and figure this scene out. After more banal scenes of the children farming while being unable to speak for some reason, they just happen to sleep in the same bed as their mother when she dies in her sleep. Or maybe they saw she was dead and decided to get into bed with her for some bizarre reason. Either way, the movie didn’t make it clear, yet again, why the mother died. It would seem that the death of both parents were just there to serve the purpose of the movie, a (yaaaaawn) coming-of-age tale for these two freshly orphaned children as they learn to live off the land as their parents did.

This new responsible yet peaceful lifestyle is shattered however when the girl (literally ‘the girl’, as per the end credits) is bathing naked in some sort of pond, only to be raped by yet another unnamed character. In fact all the characters are nameless. I couldn’t help but wonder, again, why has this man, who is shown later to have a girlfriend of his own, decided to seek out this girl so he can have his way with her? Hell, she lives up the top of a huge bloody mountain! The effort doesn’t seem worth it. By this point I was already losing interest as for the first 45mins, two words are spoken, so I was losing motivation to figure out the answers to these questions. Now don’t get me wrong, I recently reviewed Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter which also has very little dialogue. But that movie had a point. This movie’s intentions are far more foggy, and aren’t any clearer by the end

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The first nameless man, ‘The Hunter’ decides that he had a right good time with ‘The Girl’ and decides to bring his mates along for another ride. What follows is a game of cat and mouse that takes place in the mountains that surround the house. These scenes have zero emotional heft due to the aforementioned almost total lack of a script, and consequently also due to the complete lack of character development. The events that transpire are also wildly predictable, if by this point you are still actually watching.

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Shhhhh!!

I must commend the camerawork though, as while barely a thing is said throughout, the shots of the mountains and the forests look incredible. If only this had been paired with a good script and story, we’d have a decent movie. The acting is also quite decent, especially given the characters had next to nothing to say, which again negatively affects everything from the personalities’ (or lack thereof) of each character to why any of the events of the film are taking place at all, and everything in between.

Overall, I can’t recommend this movie as there simply is not enough meat on its bones. Sure, it looks pretty, but honestly, one could play their favourite album instead of the original audio and you would barely miss a beat. This is a predictable, confusing and boring mess, with no memorable characters, no memorable performance, and of course there are no lines that are memorable either BECAUSE NO ONE FUCKING SAYS ANYTHING!!

I unfortunately then must label this as truly one of the most underwhelming films I have seen in recent times.

It certainly doesn’t have a so-bad-its-good vibe going for it either. It is just bad.