Blood Money (2016) 78 mins
Director: Luke White
Writer: Rosy Deacon
Starring: Klariza Clayton, Ollie Barbieri, Scott Chambers, Sabrina Hansen, Nicholas Bourne.
What’s it all about? A botched robbery by a group of close friends in France sees their friendship and trust severely tested as they hide away in a remote house.
This is director Luke White’s first feature, he’s made several shorts, but this is a big step up for him and although not a bad film, it may just be a step taken too early. The film never really takes off, the tension needed isn’t really there as your attention wanders, not at any point fully engaging you with the characters or their mounting problems. The script by Rosy Deacon, again a feature début, feels like it’s been influenced by Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’, itself influenced by a film called ‘City on Fire’.
Although the set up is nice, though very familiar, we are never truly drawn in. The actors too are slightly lacking in performance, never poor, but never offering enough to keep the viewer interested or care about their fates. The most engaging of the cast was the debut of Sabrina Hansen as Mia. She struggles slightly with some of the dialogue, but out of all the characters, hers is the one that is the most likeable as she makes Mia the groups most conscientious, and thus tragic, member.
Klariza Clayton as Kasey has a struggle to balance her characters manipulative qualities with her nicer ones and never manages to succeed. The others, Ollie Barbeiri, Nicholas Bourne and Scott Chambers round the numbers up as White and Deacon roll out a game of ‘who is it?’ rather than ‘whodunnit?’ but it’s never really a question that matters and when all is revealed its more a relief than a revelation.
I don’t want to be too harsh, I know from talking to White and some of the cast and crew that they put a lot of hard work into making the movie, shot in Normandy, France, which saw the crew camping in tents on location, not always in the best of conditions.
It’s never easy to work on a very tight schedule (it was shot in under a fortnight) on such a tight budget, so all involved deserve a lot of plaudits for that.
Unfortunately, for me it didn’t really work. However, this is a brave first effort for a number of the talent involved so onto bigger and better things for them all.