Blood Moon (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Blood Moon (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Christina Dee on June 09th, 2021 | Movie Review | Cursed, Single Mom, Mystery, Werewolf

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As the locals begin to probe, Esme must battle to protect her son and a terrifying secret before the next full moon threatens their very existence.

Blood Moon was directed by Emma Tammi (known for The Wind) and stars Megalyn Echikunwoke, Yonas Kibreab, Joshua Dov, Marco Rodríguez (from The Toolbox Murders).

Sometimes a blessing comes with a curse.

Blood Moon Review

Fans of Blumhouse’s Hulu anthology Into the Dark may have had to wait longer than they’d have liked for some of the installments, as COVID caused its share of delays. However, Blood Moon coasted in just in time to conclude the second season in style. Into the Dark is notorious for being a bit of a crapshoot, though, as some of the episodes are much stronger than others.

The incredible Emma Tammi, the same director responsible for Delivered -- one of the better recent installments of the series, also helmed Blood Moon. But are excited viewers in for another winner, or are they bound to be disappointed?

If you’ve already guessed from the marketing that Blood Moon is a werewolf story, then go ahead and pat yourself on the back. It’s the story of a mother and her troubled 10-year-old son – Esme (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and Luna (Yonas Kibreab), respectively. When we meet them, they’re in the process of relocating to a remote desert town. Naturally, relocating is tough on anyone, but it quickly becomes apparent that Esme and Luna have additional extenuating circumstances to consider.

Something big is going to be happening later on in the month, and it’s critical that the pair be prepared for it. If the film’s title, the little boy’s name, and the moon-centric opening sequence somehow failed to help you guess correctly precisely what that “something big” is, don’t count on any of the characters actively spelling it out for you. This film is careful not to expressly do that, although there are plenty of pretty clear clues that should give you a good idea.

Esme does a lot of things you’d expect to see the mother of a young werewolf do. She makes a trip to the hardware store to buy parts she’ll use to build a Luna-sized cage in her basement. You also get to watch as she navigates everyday conundra like doctor visits and food runs from a unique perspective. A series of flashbacks provide additional context, helping viewers fill in the blanks slightly more thoroughly.

This exciting and subtle approach to a horror staple as familiar and standard as a werewolf story brings something unique to the table. It places the focus of the story and the events that unfold on the relationship between Esme and Luna instead of the obvious. In many ways, this pair is portrayed similarly to any ordinary mother and son, which is intriguing to watch. Director Tammi and writers Adam Manson and Simon Boyes are very clever in how they dance around this, making for a fascinating viewing experience. Blood Moon is truly a family story with a touch of the fantastic thrown in for good measure, not the other way around.

Worth Watching?

It’s very much a slow burn, so don’t go into this expecting serious scares or blood and carnage by the bucketful. Of course, there’s a bit of that, but it’s not the backbone of the storytelling by any means. It is a well-made film with a lot to offer, especially if you’re a fan of Into the Dark and are hoping Blumhouse decided to conclude the second season on a high note. The performances are powerful, the atmosphere is forbidding, and it’s a genuine pleasure to watch the plot unfold toward its inevitable conclusion in such a clever way. In other words, this is one of those Into the Dark installments that’s not to be missed.

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