This had a lot of potential as a concept. Combining two Clive Barker short stories from the "Books Of Blood", this film should have been a scary, haunting, and overly deranged view of when life and death cross, but alas this comes off more like a cheesy episode of Masters Of Horror then it does a full fledge film. Damn.
The story revolves around a paranormal investigator/professor (of the paranormal?) whom discovers a young man with a natural born tendency to be able to cross over into otherworldly tasks and how they begin to work together within this haunted house to discover why its haunted. Unfortunately, most of this synopsis is assumed. The film doesn't do a good job of actually telling/showing us what's happening. It has it's moments and towards the end some of the character relationships do pay off, but the film jumps to a lot of odd conclusions quickly.
For example, we are told that the young man (whom will become the book of blood himself as is told straight up in the beginning) is somewhat of a 'psychic' but why does that make him a good medium with the dead? Is seeing glimpses of the future as good as talking to the dead? I guess it is, or at least that's what this film hopes for you to assume. "Book Of Blood" just makes too many of these jumps for it to be cohesive enough for my tastes.
There are some great visual scar moments, the carving of the skin by the dead, the fountain of blood, and of course the bleeding suitcase were all clever ideas and great visuals. Unfortunately, most didn't pay off because the tension in the air was missing. That is perhaps my biggest complaint about this film. It has some nice atmosphere and visuals, but there's no tension or suspense. It could be that I didn't care for any of the characters too (thanks to odd character development and some sub par acting), but the tension never built for me. It made the film actually quite boring and long and by the climax at the end of the film, I wasn't interested all that much anymore. It tried, but never could get it across.
"Book Of Blood" has some good moments and I enjoyed Harrison's visual style for the film with its bleak look but it was missing tension and solid character development that could have really pushed this one forward. Recommended for fans of Clive Barker to see this story visually, but not much past them.
Written By Matt Reifschneider