Directed by: Brad Anderson
Distributed by: Vertical Entertainment
Written by Jeff Sparks
Last year Michelle Monaghan earned the nickname “Michelle Off Again” from me due to the multiple weak projects she starred in, notably “Echoes” and “Black Site.” in 2023 I’ll be watching closely to see if she can break that streak. She gets off to a decent start with “Blood” which stars herself alongside Skeet Ulrich, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, and Skylar Morgan Jones. Monaghan stars as Jess, a single mother fighting to maintain custody of her children after a nasty divorce. When her son becomes sick with a mysterious illness she finds that the only treatment that keeps him alive is drinking blood. Willing to do anything for her children, she sinks into the depths of depravity to keep him alive. “Blood” drew me in early with the custody battle between Jess and Ulrich’s concerned dad character. The disputes they have let you know that Jess has had a lot of troubles in her past than just her struggle to find a new home after the divorce. After we get past the creepy new house cliche her son is hospitalized, which is when she begins fighting to keep him alive.
In these scenes, Monaghan is the best I’ve seen her in a while. Totally locked in, she makes it clear that her character is focused on one thing and one thing only. The desperation on her face reveals the lengths that Jess is willing to go to. The script does weigh her down a bit though with its requirement of suspension of disbelief in some scenes, namely the first time Jess feeds her son blood. After seeing his health boost after drinking it only once, she begins stealing blood bags for him to drink like they’re Capri Suns. Fortunately, that scene is the biggest hurdle to get through in this script. That’s not to say that the rest is anything great, but it’s enough to keep things interesting until the end credits. Since the ending leaves some unresolved questions, I’m not surprised that there’s a mid-credits scene that teases a potential sequel. While I’m not opposed to seeing one, I don’t think that the ideas presented here are strong enough to birth a new story unless the sequel is another vehicle for Monaghan to shine in, which is in fact what the tease implies.