Fantastic Fest Review: BLOODLINE Trips At The Finish Line

Stab all the bad people!

Evan Cole (Seann William Scott) has a perfect life. He has a loving wife, a fulfilling job helping at-risk youth as a school counselor, and a brand-new baby boy at home. But like most folks with seemingly perfect lives, Evan has a secret: he kills people. Specifically: people who fail to meet his high standards of personal and family values. Bloodline follows Evan's story as a serial killer with a heart, as he attempts to protect both his own family and the children in his charge.

After being typecast in goofy comedy roles for the majority of his career, Seann William Scott gets to play with his role a little bit more than he usually would as Evan. He shifts from caring family man to a violent sociopath with ease, and shines brightest when he’s with the children he works with at his high school. Evan gets just a touch too dead behind the eyes when he has to fake humanity for anyone he doesn’t love, but that fits into the unrelenting murderer package.

At just over 90 minutes, Bloodline is a quick trip that manages to be enjoyable the majority of the way through the film. As you might expect, there are a lot of Dexter vibes, and some truly awful people get to meet satisfying ends. But Evan's serial killer methodology isn't perfect, and soon things begin to unravel. While he might think death is the best answer for his wards' abusive relatives, it turns out that some of his students end up hurt by the disappearance of their family members. Their questions, coupled with the police discovery of Evan’s burial site, push things to a boiling point, and result in his wife Lauren (Mariela Garriga) having to ask herself some difficult questions.

Bloodline delivers a lot of bloody fun. Who doesn’t want to watch Nazis and rapists meet stab-filled endings? It’s pretty to look at, too, the cinematography playing with contrasting colors to complement the dual sides of Evan, and it doesn’t shy away from depicting his victims' (mostly deserved) wounds. Unfortunately, things close out with a truly “yikes”-worthy ending, sliding a little too far down the slippery moral slope to maintain audience sympathy.

It's nice to see Seann William Scott get to play around with a new role. He doesn't get a chance to do that often, and Bloodline more than provides a vehicle for his talents. But ultimately, the climax of the film undercuts his character's ethically grey nature - and slashes away at the story's potential.

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