Well, I’m going to be a grouch here. While there’s nothing technically wrong with Blood Cells, there’s nothing about it that won me over either. It’s a film that is just THERE, and I consider myself generous by classing it as something so average.

Barry Ward stars as Adam, a young man who left home many years ago and has spent his time just dossing around, picking up odd jobs here and there, having too much to drink, and generally being haunted by a major incident in his past. Apparently. But that transient lifestyle must be questioned when he receives a call from his brother which ends in an ultimatum. Come home ASAP, or stay away forever.

I’ve read descriptions of Blood Cells that add more to the storyline and contextualise the timing of events, which is all well and good for the people who were given that information. Either I missed some obvious details, or the makers of the film actually forgot to add the touches to their movie that would back up the synopsis that was created to pass along to reviewers/buyers at some point.

Ward is good enough in the lead role, he’s just hard to care about. Even when some more details of his past life are revealed, everything seems to take place in a vacuum that stops viewers from ever fully connecting with what’s going on. At least, that was the case with my own experience. Hannah Hornsby and Hayley Squires are both excellent when onscreen, both playing two very different (or are they?) girls who come into Adam’s life and force him, momentarily, to think about something other than himself.

I’m struggling to think of anything more to say in this review because the film is so slight. Oh, Joseph Bull, Luke Seomore and Ben Young try to pretend otherwise with their meaningful script (Bull and Seomore are also the co-directors), but this is a movie attempting to trick you into believing that it has something important to say about life. Pitting the main character against a religious man who tries to help him, showing a slightly nightmarish sex scenario, or even blending imagery from the subconscious with the reality on display – all of these things occur in this movie, and none of them add up to anything truly worthwhile.

Not actually a bad film, Blood Cells is just consistently mediocre and unimportant. Sorry.

Blood Cells was screened at EIFF 2015.

DIRECTOR: JOSEPH BULL, LUKE SEOMORE
WRITER: JOSEPH BULL, LUKE SEOMORE, BEN YOUNG
STARS: BARRY WARD, HANNAH HORNSBY, HAYLEY SQUIRES
RUNTIME: 86 MINS APPROX
COUNTRY: UK/ITALY

Film Rating: ★★½☆☆

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