Books of Blood is Hulu’s latest horror anthology movie directed by Brannon Braga. The movie is based on Clive Barker’s Books of Blood and stars Britt Robertson, Anna Friel, Rafi Gavron and Yul Vazquez.
Too little to go on
Books of Blood follows three separate stories that invariably interconnect at some point. The opening shot is of Bennett, who is trying to get something called the ‘Book of Blood’ from a librarian.
We then meet Jenna, who, after a tragedy in college, is living with her parents. Jenna suffers from misophonia, a hatred for sound. However, when her parents talk about shipping her off to a facility, she runs away from home and meets Ellie and Sam at a remote B&B. Ellie seems nice… too nice. There’s something eerie going on, and Jenna realises the truth too late.
The second story follows Mary who meets Simon after her son’s death. Simon is a medium, and he can, apparently, talk to her son. One thing leads to another and the two soon become lovers. However, after a drunken confession, Mary decides to exact revenge in the evillest way possible.
In the third story, we go back to Bennett, who, on the quest to find the Book of Blood, ends up at a now-older Mary’s house. Here a revelation is made, and after his name is signed in the book, he ends up bloody and weak at Ellie’s doorstep. It’s safe to mention that that does not end well for him.
Books of Blood has its stories sorted. On paper, they’re creepy and mysterious – much like Jenna’s drawings. Jenna shares the largest screen time, however, like most of the other characters, has no background whatsoever. We get to know a bit about what transpired in college, but apart from that, nothing. Also, the director tried to include her misophonia into the story with very loud chewing, scratching and other disturbing noises to get us into her headspace. However, it does not add to the horror element of the storytelling. The idea is there, but the execution lacks by a mile.
That’s the problem will all the stories. They are interesting and seem creepy, but there’s not much going on. There are too many jumpscares and moaning and scratching noises. There’s nothing new we see in respect to execution or direction.
The acting too, unfortunately, is flawed. First of all, there’s so little character development that these people are difficult to care about. Additionally, the actors do not do a convincing job. You don’t feel anything for these people or the (little) horrors that they endure. There’s little exploration going on with these interesting ideas. Rather, there’s a lot of loud noises, needles, so-many-bugs and gore. These are fine when you have an air-tight story to accompany it, but on its own, it’s annoying. Also, the dialogues are just funny and cliched sometimes, and you know its bad when you laugh during a “scary” sequence.
Summing up: Books of Blood
Books of Blood is boring. There’s no horror neither is there an air of mystery. There are too many jumpscares and horrible chewing noises. However, I will give it one thing though, the twist about the book is kinda great, although how the “book” became that way consists of an extended CGI sequence that I laughed out loud watching. Actually, that’s quite a common occurrence in this movie – the CGI is laughable. The acting’s not great, and the stories do not instil any amount of fear in your hearts. Give this one a skip, because there’s honestly better anthologies out there.
Books of Blood is streaming on Hulu.
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