Combustible Celluloid
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With: Adriano Luz, Manuela Couto, Sara Carinhas, José Afonso Pimentel, João Santos, José Pinto, João Pedro Vaz, Elisa Lisboa, Filipe Duarte, Gon�alo Waddington, Maria d'Aires, Miguel Borges, Rafaela Santos, Orlando Costa, Lia Franco
Written by: Rodrigo Guedes de Carvalho
Directed by: Tiago Guedes, Frederico Serra
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Portuguese with English subtitles
Running Time: 97
Date: 03/18/2013

Bad Blood (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

A House in the Woods

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This low-key haunted house film from Portugal, (a.k.a. Coisa Ruim), has been unfortunately repackaged for home video to look like something full of shocks and thrills. But if you can get past expectations, it has a nice, tense slow build and a surprising, worthwhile payoff. Xavier Oliveira Monteiro (Adriano Luz) suddenly decides to leave behind the stress of city life and move his family into a huge house in the countryside that he has inherited. His wife Helena (Manuela Couto), their daughter Sofia (Sara Carinhas), who has a baby by an unknown father, and their youngest son Ricardo (João Santos) gamely go along. The older son, Rui (José Afonso Pimentel), is in college and has a more cynical attitude toward the move. It turns out that terrible things once happened in the house, and the family becomes subject to all-new, unexplained events. There's even a young priest (João Pedro Vaz) who helps. We've seen it all before, but co-directors Tiago Guedes and Frederico Serra do a nice, mature job of mounting the tension and venturing into ambiguous areas. The overall atmosphere has a kind of damp, woodsy feel. The filmmakers also understand the pace of a good horror film, giving the audience plenty of places to rest and ponder.

DVD Details: Besides its deceptive packaging, Tartan's 2007 DVD comes with a making-of featurette, a trailer and optional English and Spanish subtitles.

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