Most of us probably know Seann William Scott from the “American Pie” series, or some other comedy from the early 2000s. In 2018’s “Bloodline,” we see a very different side of the actor. The movie, which was written by Avra Fox-Lerner and Henry Jacobson (the latter of whom also directed), is a horror/thriller with plenty of gore. It made its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on Saturday, September 22.
In “Bloodline,” Scott plays Evan, a social worker who acts as a counselor for troubled and traumatized high school students. He also has a beautiful wife named Lauren (Mariela Garriga) who gives birth to their first child early on in the film. Soon after the baby is born, Evan’s mother Marie (Dale Dickey) comes to live with the family and help Lauren around the house. It’s clear that Evan and his mother have a close relationship, but it’s unclear – to Lauren and to the audience – whether they’re close enough to be considered crossing a line.
Throughout the film, we get flashbacks to Evan’s past, when he and his mother were abused by his alcoholic father. As those flashback scenes come, we get more and more of the story pieced together, and eventually find that Evan and Marie had to kill the father in an act of self-defense. This would be a dark enough story even if it stopped there, but of course it doesn’t. It turns out that Evan is a psychopath, and that’s just the beginning of his journey.
While Evan may be a psychopathic killer, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a moral code. He knows he wants to rid the world of bad people…people like his own father. In this way, it’s hard not to think of the show “Dexter,” also about a psychopathic serial killer with a code. According to the film’s writers, it’s not uncommon to find this trait in psychopaths: they may not follow society’s rules, but they know what they find to be “right.” The complications appear when it seems as though Evan may not be as untraceable as he thought.
We won’t spoil “Bloodline,” because it’s definitely worth a watch (or multiple watches). Just know that you should be in for suspense, gore, and quite a bit more nudity than you might expect going in. The main cast of Scott, Garriga and Dickey all put on exceptional performances as the sympathetic killer, the worried wife/mother and the protective mom, respectively. It’s hard to think of another recent film that uses such a small cast to such great effect. “Bloodline” currently does not have a trailer or a wide release date, but it’s a Blumhouse film so it’ll only be a matter of time before it’s available somewhere.
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Featured image: Courtesy Divide/Conquer