9 out of 10
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The easiest way for me to start off this review is by saying thank you. Thank you to the producers and writer/director Alberto Sciamma for making a film that is truly cinematic and one that returns vampires to blood thirsty, mysterious and sexual creatures. The path once set forth by Dracula himself has been lost in recent years, especially due to the pop culture phenomenon that is the Twilight Saga and CW hit series “The Vampire Diaries.” It was absolutely delightful to see vampires as they were meant to be, dark and dangerous… their only goal to kill, not cause a totally unbelievable amount of drama. Thank you for Blood Trap. Thank you for making me fall in love with vampires again.
Blood Trap is the fifth feature length film from Alberto Sciamma, following on the footsteps of his 2002 and 2003 titles Black Plague and Jericho Mansions; though I do believe that Blood Trap is going to be his biggest hit to date. The film was shot in Rome, Italy and stars Costas Mandylor (Saw III – Saw 3D), Drew Kenney (“The Bachelorette”), Gianni Capaldi (The Wicked Within), Elena Mirela, Grazia Leone, Denny Mendez and Vinnie Jones (“Arrow,” X-Men: The Last Stand). The film follows six criminals who team up to kidnap a young woman in hopes of using her to extort $40,000,000 from her father via kidnapping and ransom. Arriving just before sunrise to avoid detection, the rag-tag group find themselves sealed inside the mansion with the woman they were supposed to attack, but she’s way more than she appears to be. All doors lead to Hell in Blood Trap!
The film starts with a peculiar sequence that makes it known from the start that there is no hope going forward. What’s about to happen to the group is going to be brutal and horrific. From there, we meet each of our six convicts, all of them individual in their own way and each having their own somewhat comical trait that makes them endearing to the viewer despite being horrible people. After killing the two guards at the gates, they enter a huge four story mansion and begin their search for the young woman – their ransom. This all happens pretty quick, but I was struck by the classical elements in use that makes Blood Trap so earthy, educated and nostalgic. It could be due to the location, Rome, but everything just seemed higher class and it took me back to the time of monster movies like Dracula and Frankenstein and The Mummy; old school glamour and traditional storytelling methods hit home in a big way. I was struck by the pure awesome-ness of the setting and the fact that all of the actors could act. If you love 1950’s or 1960’s horror films, then you’re going to love Blood Trap.
The film takes a believable way of seeing the bandits inside the mansion. The woman, of course, is a vampire and the doors and windows to the building automatically shut and are reinforced from sunrise to sunset in an effort to keep her – and her family – safe from the harsh rays of sunlight. You can try to blow up the doors. It won’t work. You can try to shoot your way through the doors. It won’t work. Our leads are stuck inside the mansion with an age old vampire and they discover this piece by piece while blundering around the beautiful premises looking for a way out. It’s got a very real, very claustrophobic to it and immeasurable suspense, especially what we as a viewer already knowing going into the movie based on the opening scene. I don’t want to post anymore minor spoilers because I want you to be surprised when you see this, but the storytelling is relaxed and fluid and lets you enjoy the progression of the story instead of waiting for false jump scares. Blood Trap is a vampire film for true horror fans who enjoy a scary story with the blood and guts taking the backseat.
That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a large amount of blood, however. In my mind, I imagine a dump truck of fake blood being delivered to set every day for shooting of Blood Trap. The central characters take a harsh beating in Blood Trap and the blood comes from a variety of places outside of neck wounds. I don’t think Blood Trap was ever designed to be a gorefest, but it sure as Hell turned out that way! The gorehounds are going to love this and any vampiric fanatics are going to be left more ravenous than the creature in the movie. The special effects and make up workers in this picture deserve a round of applause because they definitely had their work cut out for them! And, believe it or not, there is some comedy to be found in Blood Trap as well. I chuckled a few times at the dry humor or irony delicately placed among the violence, the vampire attacks, the swearing and the sensuality. The kidnappers are strong, deadly and ex-cons, but they’re also marginally dimwitted; so there is some comedic effect to watching them wander around the mansion in hopes of survival.
With several homages to Dracula in place, and several twists and turns, Blood Trap is easily the best vampire movie I’ve seen in years. Hands down. It’s the perfect blend of horror, action and comedy. Well acted, exquisite production, and a story that is going to inspire old school horror fans. I’m glad this baby came across my desk and I hope to purchase it in the future. More importantly, Blood Trap has tremendous re-watchability and for that it is worth your hard earned money, too.
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Break in, grab the girl, get out and claim the ransom; the perfect kidnap. Five ex- cons and one disillusioned retired screw blast their way into a mansion house to kidnap a rich young woman, Nika.
Getting in and grabbing the girl is the easy part, but getting out proves impossible; the house becomes a fortress, they get locked in, and Nika turns out to be the bitch from hell; a reluctant vampire queen that would do anything to protect herself and her fanged babies. The only thing that keeps Nika under control and avoids her transforming into a killer machine is heroin( she’s an addict with a reason) but the dope’s gone. Nika transforms into her vampire alter ego and hunts the intruders one by one, obliterating them.
The men fight tooth and nail to find a way out of the house; be it through the sewers, up through the roof tops, down the garbage shoot, or the coal room or even blasting the walls down… but nothing works, and all the while the shadow of death is constantly behind them. Nika’s intentions are not just revenge: the monster inside her is not just looking for blood, but for a suitable mate to impregnate her with the seed of life and keep the vampire line going.
Six men trapped like fish in a barrel; a bloody nightmare of a barrel…
Costas Mandylor was born on September 3, 1965 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Costas Theodosopoulos. He is an actor, known for Saw IV (2007), Saw V (2008) and Saw VI (2009). He has been married to Victoria Ramos since October 10, 2013. He was previously married to Talisa Soto.
Gianni Capaldi was born in Motherwell, Scotland to his Italian parents Tony and Maria. Capaldi grew up in the town of Hamilton and went to Hamilton College before continuing his education at Caledonian University in Glasgow. Before he got into acting he played youth football with Motherwell FC. He is related to Scottish entertainers Jimmy Logan and Peter Capaldi. Capaldi (born August 15, 1976) is a Scottish actor and film producer. Capaldi made his first appearance in the poker comedy All In. Next Capaldi portrayed an English gangster in the Sony action fantasy The Cross which starred Brian Austin Green, Vinnie Jones, Danny Trejo,Tom Sizemore and the late Michael Clarke Duncan. Soon following, Capaldi worked alongside Academy Award Winning actor Morgan Freeman in Wish Wizard, a short film made in collaboration with the Make a Wish Foundation. Capaldi briefly expanded into television with appearances as himself in the HDnet reality television series Hollywood Royale.
His first breakthrough leading roles came with the Voltage Pictures action crime drama Ambushed where Capaldi portrays Eddie, a ruthless international drug dealer alongside Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Randy Couture. Capaldi steps into a ‘good guy’ role as FBI agent Kurt out to redeem the murder of his father, alongside Dolph Lundgren, Billy Zane and Robert Davi. A Certain Justice, Capaldi steps into the role of Vin, a thug with a conscious, starring alongside Cung Le, Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Briana Evigan.
Capaldi has acting credits in: action drama Crossroads, romantic drama Don’t Pass Me By, Jeremy London’s directorial debut, supernatural thriller Devils Dozen, where Capaldi stars alongside C Thomas Howell, Jake Bussey and Eric Roberts; Jason Mewes superhero action comedy Vigilante Diaries, moralistic and paranormal drama The Between with child actors Joel Courtney and Isabelle Furhman. In addition, in March 2012 Capaldi founded High Five Films a production company, whose productions include The Wicked Within, Ambushed, Blood of Redemption, A Certain Justice and a Badge of Honor.
Capaldi then filmed a theatrically released horror feature in Italy about an urban witch legend Janara which sees him play an American priest. He continued with filming in Europe in the BBC comedy short film Gasping, set in Scotland with director Greg Hemphill and comedian Frankie Boyle. Gasping was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2015 Edinburgh Film Festival.
Capaldi also had the honor to star in legendary acting icon, Mickey Rooney’s, last film Jeckyl and Hyde. Capaldi lead the cast as the despicable Edward Hyde where he teamed up with Oscar winner actor Margaret O’Brien. He then went on to work on Last Man’s club, a family movie alongside Jake Bussey, Richard Riedle and Kate French.
In 2016, Capaldi starred in Blood Trap, an action horror movie alongside Costas Mandylor and Vinnie Jones, directed by Alberto Sciamma which was shot in Rome.
Capaldi recently filmed Ghosts of Garip in Turkey playing the lead in an action adventure vampire driven horror.
The Wicked Within a gothic thriller highlights Capaldi’s soft side as husband to a possessed wife, Sienna Guillory and also stars Enzo Cilenti and Eric Roberts which is due to be released by After Dark and 20th Century Fox theatrically in North America October 16th. Courtney Solomon executive produced Wicked Within.
Drew Kenney is an actor, known for The Bachelorette (2003) and Blood Trap (2016).
Grazia Leone is an actress, known for Blood Trap (2016), Amore oggi (2014) and Il cappellino (2009).
Vincent Peter Jones was born on January 5, 1965 in Watford, England. He first came to public notice as a professional footballer, playing in the English Football League. Noted as one of soccer’s hard men, he leaped to fame when a photographer, at a match, snapped him “marking” Newcastle United’s Paul Gascoigne, by grabbing his testicles. He has played for Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Chelsea, and Queens Park Rangers. Internationally, he played for Wales, qualifying for that nationality through his grandparents. He made his first acting appearance in the British comedy/thriller, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), at age 33, although he had previous presented a video on football’s hard men (for which he was censured by the Football Association).
He starred in the blockbuster, X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), as “Cain Marko”, also known as “The Juggernaut”. Prior to that, he played the scowling soccer coach illustrating both his likability and comedic side in Dreamworks’ She’s the Man (2006), with Amanda Bynes. Other projects include a lead role in Johnny Was (2006), starring Roger Daltrey, Eriq La Salle and Lennox Lewis, and he also appears in the independent feature, The Riddle (2007), starring Vanessa Redgrave and Derek Jacobi.
Over the years, he has received a number of prestigious awards, which showcase his accomplishments as a talented actor. In 1997, he won Satellite TV’s “Personality of the Year”, from Satellite TV Europe Magazine. In 1998, GQ Magazine named Jones “Man of the Year”. He was awarded Best Actor for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) at the Odeon Audience Awards and also won the award for Outstanding New Talent from the Sir James Carreras Award Variety Club of GB. Jones won Best Debut in 1999 for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) at Empire Magazine’s “The Awards 1999” and was titled the Male Cigar Personality of the Year at the Millennium Cigar Awards. In 2001, he was named Best British Actor for Empire Magazine’s “The Awards 2001”. In 2002, Jones received the award for Best Supporting Actor for Night at the Golden Eagle (2001) at the New York Film Festival and, in 2005, he was honored with Best Newcomer for Slipstream (2005) at London’s Sci-Fi Film Festival.
6 criminals, one mansion, one target: kidnap a young innocent woman — in and out… in is easy, out impossible; they get locked in, and she turns out to be the bitch from hell…