Book of Blood ( 2009 )
Director: John Harrison
Screenplay: John Harrison, Clive Barker
Cast: Jonas Armstrong, Sophie Ward, Clive Russell, Paul Blair
Role: ‘Simon McNeal’
Filming ( December 2007 – January 2008 )
Location: Edinburgh, Glasgow, London (UK)
Germany: March 2009
Netherlands: April 2009
Philippines: August 2009
The dead have highways, running through the wasteland behind our lives, bearing an endless traffic of departed souls. They can be heard in the broken places of our world, through cracks made out of cruelty, violence, and depravity. They have sign posts, these highways, and crossroads and intersections. And it is at these intersections where the dead mingle, and sometimes spill over into our world.
The story centers on a paranormal expert who, while investigating a gruesome slaying, finds a house that is at the intersection of “highways” transporting souls to the afterlife.
Based on the wraparound story penned by Clive Barker in the author’s “Books of Blood” collection, a psychic researcher, Mary Florescu, employs medium Simon McNeal to investigate a haunted house. McNeal, at first, begins to fake his visions, but then real ghosts present themselves. They attack him and carve words in his flesh, and these words, claims the narrator, form the rest of the stories, stories written on a literal, living Book of Blood.
I saw the movie with my very good friend Rieke at a Film festival in Cologne Germany on the 22nd of March 2009. I suppose we were the very few lucky ones who saw Jonas Armstrong on the big screen for the first time 😀
Let me start by saying that the horror genre is soooo not my thing…I do like thrillers and ghost stories like in the series ‘Whitechapel’ but otherwise can’t stand the gore really. Thankfully, Book of Blood is more ghost story based (including spooky haunted house) than a slasher gore fest! So all in all managed to keep my eyes open during the entire movie 😉
The story is very simple really: Mary a 45 y old psychic researcher gets a tip on a haunted house. She meets the very young and handsome Simon played by Jonas during a seminar at University. He tells her he’s a medium & could help out. At first it turns out he faked his visions but then the ghosts really come for him, using his skin literally to write their stories on = book of blood. Every day they keep on writing and while Mary happily researches it all, Simon is left in pain. One day he runs away but is tracked down, in order to save his life he has to tell the story first (we see that as a long backflash). Sadly for poor Simon, it isn’t enough as the guy who tracked him is working for Mary & she needs his skin. So uhm…yes Simon ends up losing his life (quickly thankfully by a stroke of the knife at his neck) & Mary gets the skin. End of movie.
It did have an atmosphere of haunted house & ghosts throughout, though the last 15 minutes were beyond weird and made not much sense at all…then again it’s a horror flick lol Jonas’s performance was good. And yes he does end up wearing next to nothing for 85% of the movie & has multiple sex scenes. Poor thing also had to have his entire body waxed so the tech guys could make a prosthetic of his torso and a real life body cast. You can watch how they made that on the DVD extras =) But if I’m honest Jonas was just good, nothing more. It’s not the quality of work he’s been showcasing in ‘The Street’ for example, but then again can one really do a BAFTA acting performance in a horror movie? I doubt it lol
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