Eternal Blood (2002) Movie Review

I will give co-writer/director Jorge Olguin points for ingenuity and creativity. As to originality — well, there isn’t much of that here in “Eternal Blood”. The Chilean movie is about a group of Goth kids who role-plays as vampires. Things take a turn for the strange (comparatively speaking, that is) when they encounter people who are even freakier than them. Soon, M begins to think that vampires might be real after all. Worst, they’re coming to get him!

Without sounding too high and mighty, let me just say that I saw the “twist” coming a mile away. Actually, it seems as if the entire running length of “Eternal Blood” was all a preamble for the finale, which caps things off with one of those twists filmmakers are so fond of nowadays. Once the twist is unearthed, director Olguin throws in about 3 minutes of footage where nothing makes any sense, and it’s anybody’s guess what Olguin and company were trying to go for other than shock value.

I’m all for ambiguous endings, but when it’s very obvious that even the filmmakers have no idea what they’re throwing up there on the screen, I start to feel a bit cheated. Such is the case with “Eternal Blood”, which plays out more as a suspense/thriller than an actual horror movie. And oh yeah, the movie informs us that these Goth kids come from homes that are well off, but far from happy. Gee, really? And here I thought even kids with great home life spent their time wearing dark eye shadows, smoking pot in the dark, and pretending they’re vampires. What a shocker!

As a movie, there’s not much of “Eternal Blood” that will make any shockwaves in the niche world of Horror filmmaking. The movie is obviously low budget, and there are no special effects to speak off. What little “effects” the movie can muster are done via camera tricks. (There’s even a segment where Olguin has his actors move backwards to give them that unnatural feel.) Not that the absence of CGI ruins the movie. If anything, it’s refreshing to see a filmmaker rely on his skills with a camera rather than a nerd sitting at a computer.

Olguin and cinematographer Arrendondo also drowns the movie in darkness with shadows and extensive nighttime shoots. I have no doubt that the use of overwhelming darkness was part of the plan all along, although it should be noted that dark shadows also hide a lot of a movie’s shortcomings. It should also be readily obvious that cheap prosthetic makeup looks better in a dark room, especially when editor/director Olguin only reveals the vampire prosthetics in very quick flashes. For comparison, see how fake everything looks when the vampire segments take place in the daytime. Oy vey.

I don’t want to make it seem as if “Eternal Blood” is a poor film. It’s a very creative movie, with a decent script and most of all, terrific young actors. Juan Pablo Ogalde plays the moody M, the ignored son of a wealthy businessman. It’s M who begins to suspect that their new playmates may be more than meets the eye. The rest of the cast, including Blanca Lewin as Carmila, M’s girlfriend, and Patricia Lopez as Elizabeth, another Goth-vampire wannabe, gives off tremendous sex appeal. The only weak spot is Carlos Borquez, who plays the effeminate Dahmer, the freaky Goth that M and crew hooks up with, much to M’s regret.

For the budget that was at his disposal, Jorge Olguin should be congratulated on a fine film. The story may be a bit unoriginal, and the twist is easily figured out, but the film still manages some moody cinematography to go along with strong acting. It would be very interesting to see what Olguin can do with a decent budget.

Jorge Olgu­n (director) / Jorge Olgu­n, Carolina Garc­a (screenplay)
CAST: Juan Pablo Ogalde …. M
Blanca Lewin …. Carmila
Patricia Lop’z …. Elizabeth

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