Here for Blood

Director: Daniel Turres

Writer: James Roberts

Cast: Shawn Roberts, Joelle Farrow, Misa Misaljevic

Producers: Christian Turres, Daniel Turres, Jacob Windatt

Music: Norman Orenstein

Cinematographer: Renato Villas

Editor: Thomas Vickers

Cert: 15

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2022

What’s the story: With his girlfriend Phoebe (Farrow) cramming for a medical exam, wrestler Tom O’Bannon (Roberts) agrees to stand-in for her babysitting gig. But when satanic metalheads invade the house, O’Bannon must protect 10-year-old Grace (Misaljevic), and Phoebe, tricked into turning up to the party…

What’s the verdict: With the physique and beefcake charisma of John Cena, lead Shawn Roberts would be easy to mistake for a professional wrestler. Particularly here, playing a wrestler and throwing nifty wrestling moves. His comic timing, breezy charm, and rough n’ tumble skills are note perfect for this horror-comic spin on the well-worn imperilled babysitter story.

Not that director Daniel Turres or writer James Roberts are content with merely one horror genre. Here for Blood is unequal parts home invasion movie, satanic cult flick, demonic possession yarn, and good old fashioned blood n’ guts splatterfest. The overlong 100-minutes is only a problem if watching alone, and Here for Blood’s generous serving of messy mayhem is best enjoyed with mates and beer and pizza.

The plot is strictly in service to The Butcher Shop FX Studio’s practical make-up work, but has a strong hook from which to hang all the silliness. Don’t strain yourself looking for story logic, you’ll be disappointed. Although the script does contain one guessable twist, then a surprising twist within that twist for anyone taking an interest. A sprinkling of good comic lines also adds to the fun – example: “Babe, I’m beginning to think these aren’t sex perverts.”

Elevating all this is a cast who dive into the chaotic spirit. Roberts anchors the whole shebang, but has quality support. Particularly Joelle Farrow (likely to be mistaken for Shazam’s Grace Caroline Currey) as Tom’s kind-hearted, meat cleaver wielding girlfriend, and Maya Misaljevic as the feisty babysat moppet. Both have comic chops to match Roberts, and a kitchen-based bloodbath involving Farrow will bring down the house. Rock legend Dee Snider cameos as the voice of a shrunken head, which says everything about the film you’re watching.

The masked cultists bent on sacrifice are (literally) a little faceless, but are given moments of genuine nastiness to add stakes to the silliness.

A strong recommendation for those who like their gore with a side order of splatstick comedy. Count us in.

Rob Daniel
Twitter: rob_a_Daniel
Letterboxd: RobDan
Podcast: The Movie Robcast

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