What happens when you take inbred hillbilly cannibal movies and make them less subtle and sophisticated?
When a young woman awakens to find herself bound in a backwoods cabin filled with inbred cannibals, she must fight for her own survival, as well as the women trapped with her. Soon, though, she realizes what is truly at stake: the women are forced to fight each other to the death, to separate the strongest for the “honor” of adding some new blood to the family’s gene pool, as the acting matriarch of the clan tries to help ease the strain of generations of inbreeding.
Somewhere in there, is an interesting twist on the glut of cannibal movies. Ever since “Wrong Turn” helped spawn the genre, it has spread (I won’t say thrived or grown) and gotten dumbed down exponentially as sequels and cheap rehashes upped the ante in both depravity and gore, but almost never in actual plot points. “Bloodlines” does get some credit for trying a slightly new tact, but is largely undone by horrible execution.
Horror film makers have taken increasing liberties with the sort of mutations that inbreeding produces, but here the effects are straight out of “Toxic Avenger” territory, creating comically distracting background characters. Speaking of characters, young Amber’s (Grace Johnston) brothers make their way into the woods to try and save their sister in one of the least convincing examples of character development since whatever the Hell the Cloverfield monster was supposed to be. It takes until the mid-part of the movie to even be sure that they are her brothers and I’m still not sure they were each other’s brothers. The performances are as bad as you’d expect for an indie cannibal flick which undermines the attempt at infusing some added drama into the mix.
Cannibal movies aren’t going anywhere soon, apparently. This one falls squarely into the middle space of them, with slipshod execution undermining a film that at least attempts to be unique in a genre of unrelenting sameness.