Blood Flower

Blood Flower
Blood Flower
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Shudder remains one of the best streaming services for international horror films, especially in the subgenre. In particular, this horror-centric platform has added some major league genre changers to its library over the past several years such as Impetigore from Indonesia, Tigers Are Not Afraid from Mexico and La Llorona from Guatemala. The newest addition to Shudder is Blood Flower directed by Dain Said from Malaysia. Written by Said with Ben Omar and Nandita Solomon the film also stars Idan Aedan, Bront Palarae and Nadiya Nissa.

Blood Flower plots around a young teenager named Iqbal who like his mother is able to perceive and see demons close to him because of his ability as a medium. When an evil force that is particularly malicious infiltrates Iqbal’s home and attacks him plus his mom, Iqbal needs to develop his abilities so that he can keep at bay any evil coming towards his family members.

The main difference between Blood Flower and your average exorcism movie is that it features a child protagonist which makes it feel somewhat like a coming-of-age story while exploring about how Iqbal develops his powers around his small group of friends. It was also nice watching Idan Aedan in role as Iqbal since there was more insight into what it means being in exile than on other occasions where exorcists are involved.

It was pretty cool that a kid who had just lost his mom due to demonic forces should have dealt with her death knowing he had to follow in her footsteps and carry out her mission of preventing any evils form inheriting their home or world; but this made the whole story line direction much more interesting.

Iqbal’s mother falling so quickly under demonic influence during Blood Flower’s opening scene proves shocking. Classy jump scares; mostly decent special effects as well as great set design help maintain uncomfortable atmosphere throughout the movie. These are not cheap surprises; they make it creepier without even causing any horror that is obnoxious and does not seem real.

Although, there are some silly monster sounds in this movie, its haunting visuals and a dynamic growing score help maintain the tension especially when Iqbal interacts with these invisible evil forces during the story while the rest of them can’t see anything. One notable exception is that there were few bizarre CG moments overlaying practical makeup work that detracted from several highly tense scenes.

The film remains culturally unswerving yet clearly gains inspiration from famous western movies like Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense to Del Toro’s Devil Backbone. Especially when it comes to main characters having powers which their parents or other adults wouldn’t understand or support anyhow. Some of Iqbal’s visions had gorier moments than both of those films so if you don’t want to see blood, especially baby blood; you should skip this one.

One of the things that stand out about Blood Flower is how you never know what is going to happen right until the end. The film tries to change up its style somewhat, in conclusion evoking a kind of Evil Dead Rise feel. It brings forth some of the more campy possession scene elements we’re used to in other, similar films as well as keeps an emotional thread running through the story while ending on a particularly bloody and brutal note for the possession subplot. The finish mostly works including some great otherworldly visuals but the ending tries too hard to be unpredictable and ends up being slightly overcomplicated.

Even so, it is still a good movie and will add itself to Shudder’s lengthy list containing numerous successful international horror movies.

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