Blood Runs Cold is a film full of rookies and made on a microbudget. And it shows. It’s hard to glean what the central plot of Sonny Laguna’s full length directorial debut is and even after watching the movie you will still hardly known any character names or back stories. The basic gist is Winona goes back to her hometown to stay in a cabin and ends up running into her old boyfriend, James. James and his best friend Carl, along with Carl’s girlfriend Liz, end up heading back to Winona’s place where they are eventually stalked by a masked killer.
This movie is a car crash. Everything, from the camera work to the acting is painful to watch. At one point the camera pans ominously over to a dimly lit stairwell after the lead character leaves the house, naturally I thought to show some peek of a shadow or foot to hint at the house being inhabited by someone other than her, but it ultimately just ends on the stairs. Maybe stairs are really creepy in Sweden. For some odd reason, a large number of scenes are filmed at a nearly forty five degree angle that makes it look like the actors are walking on a constant incline and the rest of the movie is littered with shots that seem meaningful at first but ultimately end up out of place and jarring.
Much of the acting is on par with what you could see at your local high school by the sophomore drama class. The dialogue gives us no progression and instead of giving insight on the characters, it will actually end up making you hate them a little bit more every time they talk, which makes the lack of dialogue a small blessing. So much of the conversation is honestly completely useless, with no humor, story progression, or tension, literally nothing is added to some of these scenes because of the back-and-forth between characters. I suppose I can’t fault the movie for the stilted American accents as they never pinpoint a location of the cabin or home of any of the characters but the actors end up looking like American actors trying to purposely do bad Swedish accents. (They are Swedish, though.)
Winona and her ex-boyfriend have as much sexual tension as a Golden Girls episode. They seem more like casual acquaintances forced to make conversation rather than ex-lovers who have spent years of their lives around each other. This doesn’t stop them from promptly making love their first night together, after exchanging the nine most boring sentences in horror movie history. Let’s not forget Carl and Liz who are staying in the spare room. The camera cuts away for mere moments to show her riding him topless and literally pans from her face down to her boobs and remains there until it cuts back to Winona.
The villain of the movie initially seems as if he could be creepy, a mussed ski mask covering his scarred face and puffs of snow pouring from his exit wounds but his constant caveman grunts and nonsensical appearances make him just another notch in the bedpost of reasons this movie doesn’t work. The slasher quality of the movie is scarcely present. When a film only has four victims to begin with and one of the deaths takes place completely off screen, you have to question what exactly the filmmakers were thinking. Excessive amounts of gore spill from the victims, which can be fun, but sitting through this painstakingly boring movie is not worth the three or four shots of arterial discharge we get. Perhaps, most annoyingly, is we never get to discover the background on the killer. Though numerous hints are made to him being a supernatural entity we never get any answers. No urban legends of a masochistic snow pick wielding madman, no curses that have turned a man to snow to ravage the land, no grisly deaths resulting in an angry spirit wreaking vengeance on anybody who steps foot in his cabin. Nothing but a mindless possibly unworldly killer.
Everything in this movie, from the music to the fashion to the cinematography, makes it seem as though it was shelved in 1998 and just released to the public now. Blood Runs Cold is annoyingly bad. It’s incredibly hard to sit through due to a large number of issues: strange meaningless dialogue, odd camera choices and misplaced lighting, a massive load of pacing problems and most importantly, it’s not scary. The only redeeming quality of this film is it made me miss Mystery Science Theater 3000 because I could just hear Cro and the boys tearing this flick apart.