Domestic Blood (DIR. Alexis Korotash)
By: Addison Wylie
A young woman awakens her passive boyfriend by reminding him of her blood-sucking roots in Domestic Blood, a clever take on relationships and moody vampires. Korotash wrote the funny screenplay, and has directed herself and Warren Short in this story about a late night confession.
Short finds Korotash on the floor next to the toilet and covered in blood. This leads to a heart-to-heart which then forms into her reprimand regarding the lack of listening on his end. The two go back and forth between the tonal shifts, which feels very natural along with the leads’ authentic chemistry.
It’s very perceptive and maturely cathartic. Domestic Blood could perhaps be the filmmaker voicing her opinion about how fast a timeline travels around us. A statement about feeling insignificant in a frustrated culture where we observe everyone doing everything better than us. Or, maybe it’s just a simple vampire comedy. Domestic Blood works in any of those contexts.
Audibly, the short could use more tweaking (either the film has a sloppy sound mix or there’s a lack of projection when the actors are whispering), but otherwise, Domestic Blood is a real treat.
Kingdom Come (DIR. Greg A. Sager)
By: Addison Wylie
In Kingdom Come, writer/director Greg A. Sager fleshes out a SAW-esque situation, adds hints of Hostel, and lays on a heavy handed message of morality. It faintly works, but loses touch when it isn’t laughing with us.
This leads me to my confession: When I was enjoying Kingdom Come, I believe it was for the wrong reasons.
The film made me laugh in a way where I was confused with the intention of Sager’s scenes. At first, I thought I was supposed to be guiltily gobbling up the melodrama as liberated actors overplayed their dialogue. I tied to withhold my chuckles as I listened to the hammy verbal sparring between dazed tough guys.
Sager has a creepy concept: a small group of random individuals find themselves trapped in a vacant, worn-down hospital and they must band together to figure out the puzzle behind the mystery. Occasionally, pivotal moments from the past drift into their psyches – sparking off a consistent hallucinatory atmosphere.
There’s nothing wrong with that premise. Some of Sager’s strokes have been done before, but the shadowy art direction and the drastic paranoia is what keeps us strapped in. Unfortunately, as the story unravels, the suspense becomes predictable. With predictability comes preachiness, which then leads to boredom.
There are inspired moments of built-up ventilation. There’s a fiery fervour behind Katie Uhlmann’s Rachel that’s legitimate, even though its juxtaposition feels too dark for a movie that would’ve worked better as Midnight Madness camp.
I really wish Greg A. Sager went in another direction with Kingdom Come. The ethical confrontations are too on the nose to be affecting. But, if Sager took this concept and fired it in the other direction, it could’ve been a biting satire of self-serious torture porn.
The world premiere of Domestic Blood and the North American premiere of Kingdom Come screen on:
Sunday, November 30 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. @ Carlton Cinema
Click here to buy tickets!
Click here to visit the official Blood in the Snow website!