REVIEW: Aaron’s Blood (2017)

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2017, Gravitas Ventures/Pasidg Productions

Director:
Tommy Stovall
Producers:
Marc Sterling
Tommy Stovall
Writer:
Tommy Stovall
Cinematography:
Taylor Camarot
Editing:
Tommy Stovall

Cast:
James Martinez (Aaron Diaz)
Trevor Stovall (Tate Diaz)
Michael Chieffo (Earl)
Farah White (Karen Diaz)
David Castellvi (Father Kane)
Michael Peach (Mike)
Laurie Seymour (Abigail Dasher)
Michael Lopez (Officer Lopez)
Luke Barnett (Officer Vaughn)
Noah Heekin (Justin)

From indie filmmaker Tommy Stovall comes this meshing of family drama and vampire film that doesn’t have as much gore but relies heavily on drama.

Aaron is a widowed father who has been struggling with both the accident that killed his wife and his relationship with his twelve-year old son Tate. Tate, a hemophiliac, has been having trouble at school with a local bully, Justin. When Justin trips Tate up on purpose after gym class, Tate finds himself with a nosebleed that lands him in the hospital fighting for his life. When Tate suddenly finds himself better the next day, he is discharged from the hospital.

However, since returning home, Tate begins to inhibit some strange behavior. When Justin decides to pick on Tate in the school bathroom, Tate suddenly stands up to him but scares him at the same time. When Tate goes into the sunlight, his skin starts to burn. Aaron soon learns that Tate is becoming a vampire via a blood transfusion he received while in the hospital. With the help of tavern owner/vampire hunter Earl, Aaron sets off to find out who is responsible and how can hopefully cure his son before it’s too late.

Filmmaker Tommy Stovall has done something very interesting with this film, which in a way has a double meaning. The title refers to both Aaron’s son and perhaps what is needed to help his son survive while he suffers from vampirism. And in one such scene, that’s exactly what our titular father Aaron resorts to in order to ensure his son’s survival. However, one may think of vampire films like Let the Right One In as a means to see how far Aaron will go to help his son. Thankfully, it takes on an entirely different route that focuses more on the dramatic aspect of things rather than resort to the typical bloody madness you see in horror films today.

The film’s driving force comes in the form of James Martinez and Trevor Stovall as the overbearing father and afflicted son. The relationship between these two already is strained from the get-go due to an accident involving Tate’s mother which Aaron still feels guilt about. The affliction makes a bit of an improvement at times but it’s more about Aaron worrying about his son disappearing and even goes as far as having three nightmares due to that particular notion. As for the young Stovall, as Tate, he struggles from one afflection (hemophilia) to another (vampirism) and doesn’t want to harm anyone, except maybe the bully.

While the film focuses on the struggles of this affliction rather than the vampiric notion, the film does have a little horror-style violence. But compared to a lot of today’s horror films that rely on geisers of blood, it is pretty tame here with one exception in which the source of the affliction, itself a shocking twist to the story, is given his/her fate. The make-up effects are scares, but when used, look quite good, especially on the young Stovall.

Aaron’s Blood is actually a good vampire film that shows that it doesn’t have to be about blood and gore, but more about struggling with a disease and how to go about finding a way to ensure one’s survival rather than resorting to violence. A good indie horror-drama from Tommy Stovall.

WFG RATING: B+

Gravitas Venturas will be releasing this film in select theaters on June 2, followed by a VOD release on June 6.

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