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Blood - What We Know So Far

Ever since Bela Lugosi donned the black cape as Dracula in the classic 1931 Universal film, audiences have commonly associated vampires with a taste for the red, icky stuff swirling around inside our bodies. But a new horror film is coming to show us a new kind of bloodsucker that will haunt our nightmares. 

There were some great horror movies in 2022, and 2023 is shaping up to be another solid year for the genre, with such releases as "Scream VI," "Renfield" and "Shelby Oaks" among the most highly anticipated. But one film not being discussed enough is "Blood." Helmed by "The Machinist"  director Brad Anderson, "Blood" may not be receiving the kind of attention that other big 2023 horror offerings are, but as we learn about its unique premise, time-tested themes, and solid cast, the film is shaping up to be quite possibly one of the year's biggest surprises. So what is there to know about "Blood" and its release? 

When will Blood be released?

"Blood" is set for a short theatrical release on January 27, coming to video-on-demand shortly after on January 31, according to the film's trailer. While the end of the month does see other genre films slated to for release such as "Teen Wolf: The Movie," "Distant," and "Infinity Pool," there aren't many blockbuster new releases competing for attention in that late-January window.

The film itself was announced back in September 2020, when both Michelle Monaghan and Brad Anderson were revealed as the film's star and director respectively, along with screenwriter Will Honley (via Deadline). "Blood" was financed by the Hercules Film Fund and produced by the H2L Media Group and Rhea Films. It later found North American and UK distribution from Vertical Entertainment in 2022, a reunion between the companies who brought us "Joe Bell" and "Shadow in the Cloud." Vertical Entertainment partner Peter Jarowey told Deadline, "We are excited to be back in business with Hercules Film Fund and Rhea Films and feel this holiday counter-programming will thrill audiences long after we ring in the new year."

What is the plot of Blood?

The official plot synopsis for "Blood," according to the website of distributor Farpoint Films, reads as such: "Single mom, Jess [Michelle Monaghan], moves with her daughter [Skylar Morgan Jones] and young son, Owen [Finlay Wojtak-Hissong], into her old family farmhouse. Shortly after settling in, Owen is bitten by the dog resulting in a mysterious infection from the bite." As can be assumed from the title and the trailer, the cure is more than likely the metallic-tasting red liquid that oozes inside all of us. 

On top of being a disturbing enough premise in its own right, the film appears to be tackling motherhood as a part of its subject matter, a time-honored tradition in the horror genre. From Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) in "The Exorcist" to  Amelia (Essie Davis) in "The Babadook" to Annie Graham (Toni Collette) in "Hereditary," motherhood has been a subject explored in many different ways throughout the genre. How "Blood" adds to that conversation will certainly be interesting, but one thing is for sure — it won't be for the squeamish. 

Who is starring in Blood?

Leading the cast of "Blood" as distraught mother Jess is none other than Michelle Monaghan. Though Monaghan may be known by many for her role as Julia Meade in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, the actress has seen more roles in horror and thrillers in recent years, including "The Craft: Legacy," "Every Breath You Take" and "Nanny." 

Also in the cast is another notable horror alumni, Skeet Ulrich, who was announced as part of the film in an unspecified role on October 2020 (via Deadline). While Ulrich has starred in a number of horror projects such as "The Craft," "For Sale by Owner," and "Escape Room," the actor is perhaps best known to genre fans as Billy Loomis from the 1996 hit slasher film "Scream," a role he recently reprised for 2022's sequel.

The cast of "Blood" also includes Finlay Wojtak-Hissong as young Owen, Skylar Morgan Jones as daughter Tyler, Erik Athavale as Dr. Don Forsythe, Danika Frederick as Shelly and Jennifer Rose Garcia as Candice. 

Who is directing Blood?

At the helm for the grizzly series of events in "Blood" is director Brad Anderson. Anderson's career might have started off with light-hearted romantic comedies such as "Next Stop Wonderland" and "Happy Accidents," but the bulk of the Connecticut native's filmography has been made up of horrors and thrillers. His first dive into genre cinema came with the 2001 psychological horror film "Session 9," which has gone on to become a cult classic over the years (via AV Club). 

Possibly his most well-known work came in 2004 with the psychological thriller "The Machinist" starring Christian Bale as a machinist who suffers from insomnia for an entire year, with the role seeing Bale lose over 60 pounds to achieve the sunken look (via The Huffington Post). His subsequent films such as "Transsiberian," "Vanishing on 7th Street" and "The Call" have continued the director's streak of gut-wrenching cinema. 

It seems that we can expect no less than another harrowing experience with "Blood." As Vertical Entertainment's Peter Jarowey told Deadline, "Brad Anderson has delivered the quintessential horror film with a cast, led by Monaghan and Ulrich, that delivers on every level."

Is there a trailer for Blood?

The first trailer for "Blood" was released on December 21, 2022, and offers a pretty haunting glimpse of what awaits us. It starts off with a bang, showing Jess keeping a confused woman in a basement and telling her, "I'll make this harder than it already is." We're then treated to a series of haunting images as we see her children approach a strange tree and we learn of Owen's failing health, caused by an attack from their glowing-eyed dog. 

Things take a stomach-churning turn quickly as Owen begins to gorge on bags of blood, something his mother is startled by at first. Upon seeing how it's improving his health, though, she's forced to go along with the idea. She keeps blood packs in the fridge and appears to be killing rabbits to satiate her son's ever-growing hunger. The trailer treks on with increasingly disturbing imagery as Owen's literal blood lust turns the once-innocent child into a horrifying sight. Chances are, this trailer has only scratched the surface of what audiences can expect from this spine-chilling venture. Horror is certainly starting off with a bang this year — let's hope "Blood" doesn't suck its competition dry.