Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'The Blood Lands' (2014)
AKA: "White Settlers"
Okay, we get it, the lead male is a total douche. Fuck sake, can we move on? I swear to god, the exposition in the beginning was less about setting up the plot and more about proving what a royal bag of dicks the male lead is. I mean, it's like the typical horror movie faux pas of making the victims completely unrelatable assholes, so you don't feel sorry for them when they finally eat a machete. But I mean, Jesus fucking Christ, even that trope just establishes the character and moves the fuck on. I mean the first full 25 minutes of this movie was really starting to make me worry that it would fail the "30 Minute Rule" because it was too busy just setting up scene after scene after fucking scene of the male lead being a prick to the female lead.
You know the tragedy is how it's all so distracting from what's really interesting about this movie. This apparently (as my wife informs me) is about an actual thing that is happening in Scotland which is raising political tensions. As British property value skyrockets, Brits are fleeing for the countryside including Scotland. Realtors, taking advantage of the fact that Brits will pay almost double what Scots can even afford for Scottish property. Now Scots can't even afford to live in their own land because of a British form of carpet bagging. It's like the opposite of White Flight. Hence the original tittle White Settlers. Thus, you get a lot of fucking political tension and actually quite a marvelous setting for a horror movie.
Two Brits buy up some property in Scotland, and the Scots aim to drag them out... in pieces... sorta.
But yeah, great fucking background. You'd have to be the inquisitive type like my wife to find that out, but otherwise, marvelous use of local socio/political economics to make a setting. Atmosphere was fucking marvelous too. It was a lot like From the Dark. Actually, it might have been the same property. There's like, eight horror studios in Scotland all using the same farm lol. The acting was impressive. Though you can never really get behind why the lead female is willingly married to the lead male, for the most part, her actions roll out naturally when shit hits the fan.
I SHOULD be doing my best Morbo impression right now. (Note: That is "SHOULD") These guys in pig mask, who represent our Scottish antagonists, manage to wrangle up the couple by the end of the movie. The next thing you expect is to see them dangling from some trees at the boarder of Scotland... NOPE! They just dump them off in the middle of some city somewhere. Okay, now, if the whole plan went swimmingly, and by that I mean kidnap the couple in their sleep and deposit them back in England in some potato sacks, that would have made sense. But they work the female lead up so bad that she literally clubs one of them to death. She smashes his fucking face in for god sake. What might have been an unfriendly assault on a British couple has escalated to murder. I tend to think this would escalate the situation in kind to a double homicide.
Look, these might not be Hills Have Eyes motherfuckers, but they have clearly convinced themselves that a lynch mob is perfectly justifiable, so try and explain to me how murder wouldn't be the next step once one of their own was killed.
There was something else that bothered me. The lead female is kinda thrust into being a bit of a bad-ass. I mean, she does beat a guy to death, after all. Now, I know they wanted to have a scene where the guy makes up for all his douchebaggery, but I don't think they needed to set up the female lead being crippled so she has to rely on the male lead. I mean, she was doing just fine up until that point, but then fails to carry it the extra mile. It just wasn't necessary to cripple the character that way. She was a clear survivor. Her misstep which lead to her being cripple seemed a bit forced.
You know, I'd actually like this movie if both the main characters died at the end. Unfortunately, I have to say it fell pretty flat even though the rest of the movie was pretty good. I'm not sure if I can give this movie a pass. You'll have to be the judge.