An estranged father and son venture into the woods looking for a chance to reconnect. Instead, the father is injured and the two must battle each other and an unseen enemy in a fight to survive.
Lance Henriksen crawls into a bottle before, during and after tragedy tears his family apart. His son leaves to find himself or his path or…something. He finally answers Henriksen’s pleas to return home so the two can reconnect with a trip into the woods, but a mysterious creature leaves Henriksen badly injured and thrusts both of them into a struggle for survival that is at least as much psychological as it is physical.
This is a good foundation for a story, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. The “family tragedy” is pieced together gradually through a series of flashbacks that are sometimes awkwardly placed and break up the story badly; it’s also not entirely clear if we shouldn’t all be a little creeped out by the awkward family situation to begin with. Henriksen’s character is just about impossible to like in his coldness and there’s a certain sort of awkward, borderline incestuous, creepiness to his son (Sean Elliott) as well. The story has some holes and the dialog is spotty, with Henriksen offering up some of the worst axioms a father has ever felt the need to share with a son, whether it be that “to be a man, you have to kill the boy inside” or comparing driving a car to sex because “they’re both about control”.
The visceral nature of their relationship, though, is not without its merits. The strain between the two is palpable and really sells the psychological angle of their tormentor as it becomes less and less clear with is real and what is imagined. In the end, it can be argued either way.
A psychological monster flick in the vein of “Descent”, “It’s In The Blood” isn’t without its warts. What it does well – a brooding atmosphere, chock full of both dread and melancholy – it does very well, though, and there’s more than enough for horror fans who are looking for something a little more challenging to sink their teeth into.