by Nav Qateel
Six criminals decide to kidnap a wealthy man's beautiful daughter, but what should be a straightforward plan descends into a chaotic nightmare for our bungling bad guys.
Written and directed by Alberto Sciamma, Blood Trap is the filmmaker's first feature since his 2003 James Caan starrer Jericho Mansions. In a change of genre for the director, Sciamma tackles a low budget vampire horror in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner, that mostly works, and to his credit remains thoroughly entertaining throughout.
Blood Trap opens on Prison Officer Roman (played by Costas Mandylor) celebrating his retirement, but rather than enjoying himself, all this new-found free time doesn't suit him. Roman is also a cruel man, as we later learn. When his buddy Boria (played by Gianni Capaldi) invites him on a kidnapping job, Roman is easily persuaded. It turns out the remaining four gang members served time in Roman's prison, making for an interesting partnership.
The gang enters the victim's home, only to find themselves trapped with no way out until morning. While searching for a way to escape, the criminals make an alarming discovery, and to top that off, the woman they came to kidnap is now hunting them for their blood. All they have to do is get through the night, however as time passes their numbers begin to dwindle as they are picked off one by one.
Fans of action fare will no doubt have seen Gianni Capaldi in the likes of Blood of Redemption or Ambushed. Here, Capaldi gives a stand-out performance playing the wisecracking Scotsman Boria, and basically steals the show with killer one-liners and over-the-top violence. Roman is played by Saw franchise star Costas Mandylor, and his character here is not dissimilar to Lt. Mark Hoffman, the character he brought to life in that famous run of horrors.
Alec is played by Drew Kenney, from the reality show "The Bachelorette." Newcomer Kenney is set to appear beside Capaldi in Ulysses: A Dark Odyssey later in the year. Although still lacking experience, the fledgling actor shows lots of promise, and his commitment in this effort was impressive. The remainder of the cast are Vinnie Jones, a man who needs no introduction, Grazia Leone, Denny Mendez and last but by no means least Elena Mirela who plays the supposed kidnap victim Nika.
Blood Trap scores points for not falling into the vampire movie tropes that we've grown tired of seeing, and this in part comes from the distinct European flavor of the film. From the Italian home it's set in, to the music that accompanies the film, which is bizarre at times, Blood Trap is a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood fare.
There are several scenes to look out for, like when a baby of only a few weeks attacks the gang, or when Roman dons a suit of armour to fight the vampire. Extremely amusing.
Alberto Sciamma's Blood Trap can't escape its low budget origins, but what we're left with is a very entertaining vampire movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and is sure to leave an impression long after the end credits.