As frequently as we are forced to suspend our disbelief while viewing horror films, finding a well-crafted treasure that weaves its tale inside the framework of real-world difficulties is always a pleasant diversion. BLOOD BORN, released in 2021, is not one of the flicks. Exploring the ineffectiveness of a married couple attempting to have a child should be relatable to some. Still, the entire discussion is marred by plot holes, subpar performances, and awkward moments, making for an unsatisfying chore of a film that requires not only suspension of disbelief but also that of common sense.
Makayla (Rosie Moss) and Eric (Antoine Perry), a happily married couple, have almost given up on the idea of having a child. On the advice of a friend, they contact the Gravitas Foundation, an organization specializing in assisting the childless in reversing their misfortunes. Ola (Melanie Haynes), a doula who has been volunteering her time to pay forward her good fortune after Gravitas assisted with the birth of her son, is eager to help. It just takes a little nudging for the husband and wife to open up their house to what they feel is divine intervention. But Ola is not your average caretaker, and via a series of mantras and rituals, Makayla and Eric go from conception to birth in a week. You’re supposed to question how such a sped-up procedure is feasible, and the script’s best response is “magic.” Literal Magic. If ever there was one, an uninspired explanation made even more absurd because it was taught to a volunteer. You’d think such trade secrets wouldn’t be so easily shared with the rank and file, but that’s not the case with Gravitas.
While the premise of BLOOD BORN isn’t inherently awful (it’s allegedly based on the director’s efforts at producing a kid), the execution is. The film wants us to think that Eric and Makayla’s failure to conceive has been such a significant challenge in their life that they attend support groups and try to boost their efforts with good luck charms. However, the lead actors’ lackluster performances appear as though they couldn’t care less about such endeavors. It takes more than two-thirds of the film for either husband or wife to show any genuine emotion, and even then, it feels contrived.
Haynes’ portrayal of the supernatural doula is passable, and she is the easiest of the characters for viewers to root for. When nine months are cut down to seven days, it’s natural for something to go wrong with the baby, leading to a vampire subplot that could have worked. Yet, the rest of the picture, though, falls too flat to salvage it. What are the Gravitas Foundation’s objectives for assisting childless families in expanding their brood? They don’t charge a price for their services. Therefore there’s no monetary incentive. Is it possible to conquer the world, one fang-toothed ankle biter at a time?
Perhaps, as a flimsy turn reveals that infants born through Gravitas intervention are groomed to become medical experts who collaborate with the corporation to deliver additional babies in a circle of lunacy that might have benefited from a few more facts. But, for a film based on the idea of everyday “magic,” expecting anything else may be a bit much.
BLOOD BORN attempts to inject some comedic moments into its runtime, which routinely come across as amateurish. No one will be surprised by a not-so-surprising ending that was presumably supposed to be a twist, nor will any of the earlier attempts frighten viewers. For a movie born of the natural fears one could expect, there were so many perspectives that could’ve been taken; a ninety-minute discussion about teething would’ve been more enjoyable. Avoid this one like a soiled diaper.