Dir. Daniel Turres (2022)
A professional wrestler agrees to babysit in place of his girlfriend, but things go awry when a masked cult attacks the house.
The intersection between horror and professional wrestling is a subject that I find truly fascinating. I don't know exactly why the two seemingly unrelated industries tend to overlap in audience, but the further you get into horror social media, the more and more wrestling fans you'll find as well. Darcy the Mail Girl, cohost of Joe Bob Brigg's show on Shudder, spends just as much time tweeting about All Elite Wrestling as she does horror, and it's not uncommon to find dozens upon dozens of WWE shirts at any horror convention you find yourself exploring. How in the world these two different worlds have collided so thoroughly I'll never know, but today's film Here For Blood, streaming 2/9 on Screambox, melds the two worlds together in a wrestling-themed slasher/home invasion film with a healthy dash of humor and more than a little blood and gore.
Phoebe (Joelle Farrow) is a busy college student, working three jobs and trying to find time for her studies as well. The night before an exam, she enlists her boyfriend Tom O'Bannon (Shawn Roberts) to take over her babysitting gig so that she can study. Tom is a professional wrestler, and despite his misgivings about being a giant muscular dude who is babysitting a little girl, he gives in and takes the job. Unfortunately, a masked cult decides to invade the quiet suburban house, and it's up to Tom to fight off the intruders to save his ward, Grace (Maya Misaljevic). The cult has other plans, of course, and things go from bad to worse when they invoke the power that has brought them together.
The humor in this film is the real star, with a fun script that pokes fun at itself as well as the tropes inherently present in both the home invasion and the murderous cult genres. Roberts does a fantastic job as Tom, delivering his lines with total seriousness despite their obvious self-aware ridiculousness. The gore is off the charts, reminiscent of films like The Evil Dead or 80's Troma. It's a fantastic party movie, rife for a watchalong with your horror-loving friends who are a little less discerning in their film tastes. It's also gross as all hell, and it's a movie that will likely turn your stomach while it makes you laugh more than you expect.
Screambox has done a pretty good job of picking films that fit within their irreverent brand of horror, and Here for Blood is no exception. It takes a little bit to get going, though it's entertaining even before shit really begins to kick off. The addition of new victims is cleverly done, and the twisty nature of the film really helps to carry it through into its final act. It's nothing that you haven't seen before, but it's handled really well and with such an inventive combination of violence and farce that it's surprisingly watchable and entertaining. I am a huge supporter of movies that are mindful of their own scope and impact, and Here for Blood definitely is: it's dumb, it's ridiculous, and everyone in the film knows exactly the role they are expected to play.
While Here for Blood is certainly not an all-timer, it's definitely a film that's worth a watch. It's genuinely funny, disgusting when it needs to be, and utterly absurd, and it all works together to become more than the sum of its parts. The relationship between Tom and Grace is heartwarming, and while many of the characters within could certainly be portrayed as stupid, they all work together surprisingly well to create a movie that is as wildly entertaining as it is goofy. It's the wacky wrestling/horror/home invasion/zombie comedy you didn't know you needed in your life, and it's one that I sincerely hope will find its audience on Screambox.
Who this movie is for: Home invasion horror fans, Cult movie fans, Male babysitters
Bottom line: Here for Blood is tongue-in-cheek funny, ridiculously over the top, and an absolute blast to watch. If you're a serious horror fan that is looking for movies with social or political import, this one will be a miss. But if you can appreciate the insanity of 80's horror, ludicrous gore, and self-aware humor, Here for Blood may well be right up your alley. It's streaming on Screambox 2/9 and in select theaters as well, and I definitely recommend giving it a watch.