By Seth Lukas Hynes
Starring Nathan Phillips, Alyssa Sutherland and Alex Cooke
Blood Vessel is a chilling Australian horror film that treads familiar monster-feature ground with finesse and strong character depth.
Lost at sea during World War II, a motley crew of Allied personnel board a seemingly-abandoned Nazi minesweeper, only to unleash its macabre cargo.
Blood Vessel has phenomenal tension, with our and the characters’ dread steadily rising as they
explore the ghost ship and uncover more of its dark history. Gloomy lighting and claustrophobic, grimy sets enhance the unease.
Some of the dialogue and acting feels slightly awkward, but the stylised characters still bond or
clash in engaging ways. The narrative contains some effective foreshadowing, as backstory and personal items return meaningfully later in the plot.
The supernatural creatures are rendered through remarkably lifelike prosthetics, and convey
extreme presence and menace even when confined to a single location. Alyssa Sutherland and Alex Cooke deliver harrowing performances as strong-willed people struggling against the creatures’ insidious control, both physical and mental.
The action is the one weak link in the production: the brief scuffles are gory and convey the
characters’ determination, but are shot too close for the viewer to tell what’s going on.
Blood Vessel is a tense, well-written horror film, and is available on DVD and iTunes.