Thursday, March 9, 2017

It's in the Blood



Part of this movie I really, really like. The father/son angst, and the way the loss of a loved one has deeply devastated them, is strongly presented. I think Henriksen offers some of his best work in decades. I don't think Henriksen coasts by too often or fails to ratchet up the intensity in many of the bad apples that litter his career and don't deserve him. But he just hasn't been gifted too many roles like this which gives him meat on the bones, real tendons, organs, blood. It's in the Blood (2012) does that. I kind of get lost towards the end when a son's journey to conquering not only his demons but also a creature among the woods gets muddled in a rather haphazardly edited, confusingly inert presentation. Clearly something is attacking Henriksen, and the film never really indicates that it's his son (played by Sean Elliot) doing so. I don't recall Sean being the instigator in Henriksen's fall from a cliff that results in a broken leg, eventually setting up gangrene, with Elliot having to sever it or else. The monster is very spectre-like. It doesn't ever appear quite of this world. Scooter Downey shoots the creature in subtle tones, its figure mostly distant and unclear. As if a figment of the mind, it does begs to question if it's real at all or if created through a guilt and/or ensuing madness both father and son share. Adopted daughter (Rose Sirna) was richly loved by father Henriksen and brother Elliot. Running through a flowery valley, lying in grass, smiling and happy, Sirna and Elliott's idyll will be shattered when troubled sociopathic deputy (Jimmy Gonzalez) eyes her with thoughts of very bad things. Sheriff Henriksen doesn't see what Sirna does: Gonzalez is sinister and exudes danger. Gonzalez soon kidnaps both son and daughter, forcing Henriksen to choose which of his children will live and die.


Obviously we know which ultimately survives, and that fatefully awful tragedy (held at gunpoint, Gonzalez puts a bullet in pleading Sirna and himself; Gonzalez made sure to shoot Henriksen in the side, wounding a serious threat hoping to stop him) causes serious damage between father and son, spending some time together in the woods, hiking and chatting. Soon a fight occurs, both still teeming with hurt and unable to find harmony in their relationship. Henriksen sees a creature not far off, making this particularly distinctive, unnerving sound, falling backwards, losing his gun. Leg broken, Henriksen is provided a splint by his son, soon drug by the creature and further wounded when Elliot is momentarily elsewhere. So trying to keep his pop safe, setting up a defensive against the creature, battling memories in his mind, and attempting to provide heat and food to sustain them in the woods is unexpected odds Elliot hasn't anticipated. He has been all over the country, picking up things, but he'll need all that knowledge to get him out of this dire situation. Intense movie. Tragedy remembered shows how both principles are under heavy emotionally scarring baggage. The narrative's murky underpinnings and the visual muddiness that interferes with the film's storytelling cut me off from engaging with it at times, but It's in the Blood isn't without its moments. Elliot has a gruelling part, his character enduring emotional hardships that wreak havoc with his soul and mind. Father and son must come to terms and close a gaping wound that has separated them far too long. Bizarre scene has Elliot driving a clutch with Henriksen mimicking an impending orgasm as he drives faster!

**

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