A creature feature with a difference, Blood Hunters may not be the best film to have screened at Frightfest, but it certainly has a lot going for it.

A twisty, turny little piece, which shifts direction each time you think you know where its heading, the film carries on that grand horror tradition of taking place in a run-down/abandoned medical facility, which has brought us stuff from the sublime (Halloween II) to the bloody ridiculous (X-ray) in the past.

The third feature from Canadian director Tricia Lee, Blood Hunters kicks off with drug addict mother Ellie (an excellent Lara Gilchrist) collapsing in the street after one overdose to many.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Ellie then comes to her senses strapped to a hospital bed – now seemingly nine months pregnant. Freeing herself from her shackles, Ellie finds the ‘hospital’ far from a welcoming place – a slumped body here, blood splashes on the wall there, and with an overriding (and indeed correct) feeling that she is being watched – watched by something not human.

Along the way, Ellie finds a handful of other survivors, led by Henry (Benjamin Arthur), as well as some facility staff, and slowly the truth of where they are, and what is happening to them, is revealed. Let’s just say it’s not too good……

I’ve read a couple of other reviews of Blood Hunters online and, while those critics (Kim Newman included) seem to have enjoyed it, I reckon they give far too much away. For me, one of the real treats of Blood Hunters was that I had absolutely no idea just where director Lee was taking me – there’s very little in the way of cliché in Corey Brown’s script.

And, while things may get a bit talky (and indeed hokey) at times, I remained interested throughout – and the payoff didn’t leave me disappointed.

The acting is more than OK for a film of this ilk, with genre favourite Julian Richings (Wrong Turn, Cube etc) also popping up as a somewhat mysterious Priest.

Lee is clever enough to bathe her creatures in darkness for the bulk of their on-screen appearances, but they still look pretty cool when they are shown in close-up. There’s also some pretty neat gore, with a doozy of a ‘how to deal with losing your hand’ gag if that’s your bag.

Clearly filmed with a minimal budget, Lee also does a great job with the locations, with the medical facility seeming both claustrophobic and labyrinthine at the same time.

All in all, Blood Hunters is something a little bit different – and is all the better for it.

Horror Channel Frightfest review: Blood Hunters
3.5Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.