Milo Cawthorne, Ari Boyland and Olivia Tennet star in the scary fun of Blood Punch. (Bluffhouse Productions)
Whenever a horror movie is particularly impressive, it is usually because it is scary, tense or thrilling. Blood Punch is somewhat different from that because the best thing about this thriller isn’t how it frightens, it’s how it charms. Audiences looking to be scared will be satisfied by the film, but those looking for something more should appreciate it even more. Blood Punch might be the first mixture of a screwball comedy and a horror film, and against all expectations, it succeeds.
Blood Punch stars Milo Cawthorne (the Green Ranger on the 2009 remake of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”) as Milton, a college student sentenced to rehab after punishment for running a meth lab. While in rehab, he meets Skyler (Olivia Tennet, who also appeared in the “Power Rangers” remake), a clever junkie who enlists his help to cook methamphetamine. The two work under her devilish boyfriend Russell (Ari Boyland, completing the trifecta of “Power Rangers” veterans), a police officer who plans to engineer the meth sale.
Their shared work in children’s action television aside, all three actors give lively performances of great humor. With his coke-bottle glasses and nerdish stammer, Cawthorne recalls, of all things, Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby, while Tennet plays the type of character who could convince even the sanest person to a life of madness. Boyland uses frat-boy charm to great use as the dangerous cop, and if this film doesn’t result in a role for him as either the villain or the comic relief on one of the many CW supernatural shows, the network should fire its casting directors.
Not only is Blood Punch funny and frightening, it is engagingly clever. The three characters begin reliving the day after they cook methamphetamine together, and if that type of storyline is quite obviously cribbed from the Harold Ramis classic Groundhog Day, the theft hardly matters. That type of story need not be original if it is well-used, and director Madellaine Paxton handles it deftly.
One of the major problems with modern horror films is that they focus more on disgusting the audience than thrilling them, but Blood Punch avoids that trap altogether. A film that is frightening can also be fun, and Blood Punch is able to balance both. Audiences can expect thrills from the film, but the charm and humor of Blood Punch deliver so much more.
Bluff Road Productions
Now in theaters
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