Director: John Harrison
Writers: John Harrison Darin Silverman
Jonas Armstrong ... Simon McNeal
Sophie Ward ... Mary Florescu
Clive Russell ... Wyburd
Paul Blair ... Reg Fuller
Romana Abercromby ... Janie
Simon Bamford ... Derek
James Watson ... Jimmy
A guy with hideous scars is wearing a book of blood and a collector wants his skin. Once the hired assassin catches up to his victim, he gives him one last chance to tell his story. The guy spins a tale of ghosts, possessed houses, paranormal activity and highways of the dead. His professor thinks she noticed something special about him and invites him to be part of her experiment. She is investigating a house where a hideous murder happened. She's convinced that the house is haunted and that her student can act as a psychic medium to the dead inhabitants. After long, drawn out sequences where nothing interesting happens, the dead finally make an appearance and want to sign their names on the student's blood soaked skin.
"Book of Blood" clearly shows the challenges of adapting a short story into a movie. They didn't have enough story to justify a movie so they've padded it out with banal dialogue scenes. That way the viewer can be really bored by the time something interesting happens. The first and last fifteen minutes of "Book of Blood" are entertaining. The rest of the movie plods along quietly as your mind wanders onto other topics. Like, why did they pick this Clive Barker story to adapt?
I read "Book of Blood" awhile ago and I remember liking it. I didn't remember a lot of the details but I was interested in seeing this adaptation. Now I can tell you that the filmmakers picked the wrong Clive Barker tale. Not much happens in "Book of Blood". It's filmed in dark, grey colors which gives the movie a dreary look and feel. It's dour and depressing. The ghost hunters shack up in an abandoned house waiting for something interesting to happen. I was waiting too but the ghosts took the long way home. By the time they started writing their stories on his skin, I was completely bored with this movie.
Still, there are some decent scenes to enjoy. My favorite scenes being Sophie Ward commencing on a forbidden love affair with her younger student. There's a great scene where Sophie tries to help her insomniac student get some sleep by using her healing hands. Sophie also a short sex scene with her eager pupil which was pleasant enough. These scenes were very necessary for the movie as there wasn't anything else to do inside the house. Thank you Sophie Ward for saving this movie from oblivion.
"Book of Blood" has some decent gore scenes, a few good Sophie Ward erotic moments and not much else. It takes too long to get to the point and by the time it does you'll be wishing you were watching another Clive Barker movie. Where were the Cenobites when I needed them? It's filmed competently enough but there's not enough horror or suspense to warrant a viewing. It can be skipped.
SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 books of blood