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Beautifully shot with exceptional performances, “Blood Bound” is a creepy and spellbinding film that may end up as one of the best of the year.

For my taste, there aren’t enough good movies revolving around witches or witch covens out there. One would think that there is fertile ground to be covered in the witch sub-genre, and I’m hoping that quality movies like BLOOD BOUND help bring more of these stories to the big screen.

Writer/Director Richard LeMay’s BLOOD BOUND starts off with a quick and intense home invasion scene before it settles into the main story. Set in a rural town, the movie centers around Kerry (Eden Brolin) the daughter of the town sheriff. Kerry is acting out against her strict father by dating Sean (Eric Nelson) a town troublemaker and known drug abuser.

Into this quiet town descends a coven of witches. The coven is bound to a demon that has imbued their family with long life and immense power. Every 25 years they must sacrifice, to the demon, one of their own blood and three strangers in exchange for continuation of their power.

The key to their continuing power is one of their coven, David (Ross Wellinger). David is an adult, but emotionally he’s a child. He’s been protected and sheltered by the coven since birth as David is the key to a prophecy. David holds great power but doesn’t know how to wield it yet.

The coven focuses their attention on Kerry, her boyfriend Sean (Eric Nelsen), and her friend Brian (Justin A. Davis) to fulfill their deal with the demon. They are targeted because their lives have been consumed by drugs and crime, and are seen as people that will not be missed. The coven lures the three to a house by letting it be known there is a lot of cash in the house, practically unprotected. But it is a trap for Kerry and her friends.

The coven traps Kerry, Sean and Brian and involves them in a ceremony to impregnate Kerry. Though David is not the one who rapes Kerry, he is instructed to act like he is the father of the baby and dating Kerry. This is done for appearances’ sake for the town locals. After the ceremony is over, the coven keeps close tabs on the three as Kerry begins to learn the awful truth about the ceremony and what that means for her, the baby, and David.

BLOOD BOUND is an incredible movie.

Director Richard LeMay brings an almost dreamlike feel to the film that reminds me of a Jean Rollin movie, but without the nudity and lesbianism. BLOOD BOUND has a kind of gothic sensibility to it, but instead of creepy castles and fog, the movie focuses on the woods behind houses, fields and rivers. The movie is set in a rural town, but you get more of a feel of open country than a small, tight community.

When BLOOD BOUND focuses on the coven, the movie stays darker and with shadow, giving a scene the feel of something lurking just out of sight even when a member of the coven is the center of attention. Kerry and her friends are filmed similarly in the beginning: out at night, hiding from the sight of parents and neighbors in the dark, or hiding in the shadows of their room.

After the ceremony, as Kerry begins to shake the fog of drug abuse and learns what’s happening, she emerges from the darker corners, stands more in the daylight, and is visibly more alive than when we first meet her.

Eden Brolin’s performance as Kerry is stellar. She holds the movie together as the small town girl self-destructing by the death of her mother and the overly strict father. But she also gives Kerry an aura of strength that the men in her life don’t have. After the ceremony with the coven, she is, of course, traumatized, but forced to stand up for herself when others who should be there for her show their weakness in the face of tragedy and circumstance.

Ross Wellinger is equal to Brolin’s performance as the coven’s chosen one, David. He is able to convey a person with immense power, struggling with knowledge that he holds some key to greater power. Wellinger also portrays David as a kind of man-child, who spent his entire life sheltered from the world by the coven. He’s learning how to interact with people outside his coven, like Kerry. He’s easily manipulated by the coven and by Kerry at times because of his innocence.

BLOOD BOUND is more drama than horror, but when it goes the horror route, there are good scares to be had.

The coven members are both sensual and have an edge that makes them a bit frightening to behold. It’s easy to see why humans might be seduced by their charm, their ease within their bodies and sexuality, and their promise of power. While BLOOD BOUND may not get the press that a movie like PYEWACKET gets, be assured that BLOOD BOUND could well be remembered as one of the better horror movies of 2019 by the end of the year.

Don’t miss out on BLOOD BOUND, now available on VOD platforms.

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