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Toronto After Dark Review: ‘Here for Blood’ is a Tongue-in-Cheek Horror Homage that Piledrives a Familiar Genre Trope

October 23, 2022Ben MK

As far as horror movies are concerned, the character of the babysitter is often an expendable one who meets an untimely demise at the hands of whatever homicidal maniac happens to be on the loose. From the Halloween saga to the Friday the 13th franchise and numerous other slasher films in between, babysitters have been on the receiving end of countless sharp instruments time and time again. With Here for Blood, however, director Daniel Turres is taking that familiar genre trope and turning it on its head, in this tongue-in-cheek romp about an unlikely babysitter who finds himself squaring off against the masked members of a murderous, demon-worshipping cult.

Shawn Roberts plays Tom O'Bannon, a down-on-his-luck pro wrestler whose college student girlfriend, Phoebe (Joelle Farrow), has taken on a part-time job babysitting in order to earn some much-needed money to pay her tuition. But when Phoebe's latest babysitting gig happens to fall on the same evening she has to cram for a pivotal exam and Tom reluctantly agrees to take her place, it sets the stage for a violent night that neither of them will soon forget. Showing up to the house of Barb and Gill Foster (Tara Spencer-Nairn and Michael Therriault), Tom expects to be spending the next few hours mundanely keeping an eye on their 10-year-old daughter, Grace (Maya Misaljevic). Instead, he ends up tussling with a rag-tag bunch of leather-clad home invaders intent on kidnapping Grace and sacrificing Phoebe to open a fiery gateway to another dimension. Could Tom being in the right place at the wrong time be enough to stop this cult from bringing about Hell on Earth? Or will these attackers succeed in completing their blood ritual and achieving the immortality they so desperately desire?

Featuring Twisted Sister's Dee Snider as the screaming voice of a disembodied skull, the result sets out to follow in the footsteps of such horror comedies as Evil Dead II and They Live. Yet, despite the filmmakers' best efforts, Here for Blood has a challenging time overcoming its low budget, lackluster script, and uneven performances. Make no mistake, there's still a modicum of fun to be had with this occasionally hilarious genre homage. For the most part, though, viewers would be better off cancelling the sitter and staying in for the night.

Here for Blood makes its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 30 min.

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