This Swedish production is very much a labour of love between cast and crew, shot for an alleged $5,000.00. Despite the tiny budget and a single digital camera it looks good, and director Sonny Laguna obviously has an eye for composition and the ability to wring some mileage from his frozen forest setting. Sadly that’s as good as this one gets. There’s no problem with a good old-fashioned slasher, but Blood Runs Cold is just so derivative of the genre that it falls down straightaway.
Coming across like a thousand pictures you’ve seen before, the opening scenes are hard work, running through a standard set-up in order to get to the required body count. Winona (Hanna Oldenburg) heads out to a deserted cabin near her hometown to escape the pressures of life, and almost immediately starts to hear odd noises and see strange, frightening shadows in the woods. After visiting a local bar she invites an old boyfriend and others back to the cabin for drinks and the group are subsequently attacked by a figure covered in frost and brandishing an axe.
You’ll find yourself wanting to like this film more than is possible; anyone who picks up a camera and does it on the cheap deserves encouragement, and perhaps with different material and professional actors Laguna could be a talent to watch. Not everything can be blamed on budget however, and it’s no excuse for the pacing and tension this lacks; despite a lean 78-minute run-time it remains a chore even as the blood starts to flow.
Worse still, the film commits the all too frequent crime of the low-budget horror movie by treating the audience as fools: Winona hides in the cabin from the killer while a perfectly functional car is outside; the psycho hacks through a door that isn’t even closed. It’s ludicrous, as is the odd sight of Swedish actors speaking English and trying to be American. Yes, it makes the marketing easier, but if Laguna had spent time on something more authentic and less time on clichés then this could have been an infinitely better experience.
Blood Runs Cold is available on DVD now