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TIFF 2021: “Kicking Blood”


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Movies about vampires are tough to sell to the audience if they do not have a strong narrative, interesting characters and a good cast. A good cast is more like an ensemble of actors who embody the characters they portray and bring life into them that will live long after credits roll to black.

From writer (co-written by Leonard Farlinger) and director Blaine Thurier, “Kicking Blood” is a modern vampire love story about a woman named Anna Alanna Bale), who is supposed to drink the blood of humans but starts feeling empathy for one who, unlike many others, was willing to face his fate. Robbie (Luke Bilyk) is an alcoholic who feels done with his life and has nothing to look forward to.

When he meets vampire Anna, he asks her a question as he lays down on the ground in the street – is there anything after death? Anna is the perfect candidate to answer his question. However, she takes him to her place, as a kind gesture. But shortly after he allows her to have himself killed, Anna says something that will reshape their relationship going forward – “Some people don’t go easily. They fight and scream”, and Robbie, obviously, is not one of them.

“Kicking Blood” is a solid independent vampire story that explores the impact of an eternal life, how one individual is tired of saying goodbye to her loved ones, and how she creates a strong bond with a mortal man who shows her, despite the pain and vulnerability the human life brings, it is worth living shorter but more meaningful life than living a longer but a tiresome life.

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