Six friends plan a weekend getaway up in the mountains during the winter to enjoy the scenery and the snow. What they don't know is the cabin that they're staying at was built on top of the ground where the infamous Donner Party group met their horrible end. What should have been a relaxing vacation turns into a nightmare as people are driven to madness with ghostly visions and terrifying supernatural occurrences.
Well we've got a new friend with American World Pictures, or at least I do as I've been wanting to check out "Blood Snow" for some time now after I came across its DVD release under the title "Necrosis". I'm sure "Necrosis" is the title most people will recognize or be more familiar with, but since American World Pictures were gracious enough to send me a screener, I figured I'd stick with the title that I received it under. With that out of the way, "Blood Snow" is a movie that I've been wanting to see for awhile because the story revolves around one of my favorite setups; an isolated location with evil spirits lurking about. I blame "Evil Dead" and "The Shining" for this obsession I have with haunted locations.
"Blood Snow" is about a group of six friends who plan a winter weekend at an old cabin up in the mountains and of course everything seems copasetic at first. Even though they have a bit of trouble with local town folk who warn the kids not to go up there because of the evil that lives in the mountains surrounding the cabin. As it turns out the cabin that they bought is built on top of the location where the Donner Party became trapped and had to resort to cannibalism. Do the kids listen? Not a chance, and they go about with their plans except the ghosts of the Donner Party show up and start driving the cabin's inhabitants mad, particularly Jerry. As they say, history is doomed to repeat itself and soon the madness and hauntings result in another slaughter.
It's a great setup and the only thing that could have made it better is if Michael Berryman had thick accent and drawl when he was warning the kids about the cabin. I was hoping to hear, "You don't wanna go up thar" or "Sometimes dead is betta." Even though that wouldn't have made any sense. Now "Blood Snow" is an independent feature but it definitely had more of a budget than what we usually cover here and in general, the execution is about what you would expect with DTV indie horror features. Actually I'd say it's a little better as the acting is respectable, the cinematography was good, (I loved the fact that it didn't have the common washed out image with two predominant colors that is often suppose to reflect the movie's location - green for forest, blue for snow, brown desert/isolated, etc.) decent score, and didn't rely on jump scares. It doesn't quite get the cabin-fever claustrophobic atmosphere that it needed and that usually comes with the isolated location story. But it was admirable that it tried to go the old fashion route of building tension and atmosphere rather than loud noises and musical ques.
The story itself is also good in that it tries to make you question as to whether or not there are any ghosts that haunt the cabin and the surrounding woods since Jerry seems to be the only one who sees them. With the additional element of Jerry having mental issues, it helps add to the mystery and make the audience guess as to what is actually going on. There are hints throughout the movie that tells you, but I won't spoil that for you. With horror movies in general, I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to things like acting and plot holes because lets face it, the genre has never been technically sound. Plus I'm pretty lenient when it comes to those things within indie features as well. But the one thing that bothered me is that there didn't seem to be any indication as to why Jerry seeing the ghosts would cause him to start killing his friends. Once again his mental instability comes into play with this aspect of the story, but still there isn't anything there that really leads you from A to B. Or at least nothing I saw or noticed in the movie.
That's actually my only complaint that I had with the movie and unfortunately I think a pretty glaring issue for the movie, but for there to only be one problem with the movie, I'd say that's actually good. There are a few cheesy moments here and there and the atmosphere could have been stronger to make the movie really stand out. Overall though, I was pleased with what I saw with "Blood Snow" - it has enough right elements and it is made well enough that it kept me entertained. It is a movie that I think whether or not people like will be determined by their personal taste but "Blood Snow" is definitely one of the better straight-to-DVD features that are out right now.