You remember our good friend Clive Barker, don’t you? You know, the guy that brought us the pleasure of tearing our souls apart via Pinhead the Cenobite and the Hellraiser series? The guy that, much like Stephen King (aside from IT), can scare the living shit out of you on paper, but couldn’t force you into a frightened fart on the silver screen. Well, here comes our persistent little buddy from across the pond, with another attempt at resurrecting the quality he once churned out during the golden years of Hellraiser. This time Mr. Barker brings us his Book of Blood.
Book of Blood is the fateful tale of Simon McNeal (Jonas Armstrong), a clairvoyant that is attempting to rekindle the powers he had long since believed had left him, and Mary Florescu (Sophie Ward), a paranormal professor that is determined to use Simon and his unique abilities to prove her theories once and for all.
Book of Blood has all the makings to drown it’s viewers in a crimson river of terror. Unfortunately, like many of Barker’s other projects, this movie consistently bobs up and down above and below the bloody surface without enough force to hold anyone under. At first, I was watching Book of Blood with excitement; there are violent specters reaching out from beyond to fuck up anyone that dares to mock them, a paranormal professor that actually takes the paranormal seriously, a clairvoyant subject, and even a contract killer. You get lulled into a false sense of awesomeness that just doesn’t seal the deal. The plot is great, the acting is decent, and the special effects are, well, okay, but the focus falls off half way through. There are scare gags that are poorly timed and come across as trite and tired. The main character has quite a few scenes where he gets naked for no apparent reason other than the fact that Clive Barker probably just wanted to see the guy’s junk. And Book of Blood’s ending comes off like a wet band-aid as opposed to a blood soaked rag.