In the Blood
Taking place mostly in an old farmhouse, In the Blood puts us in the shoes of Johnny (Joe Cole), a junkie safe-cracker whose grandfather’s death drags him further into a dark world of crime. The only one left alive who can open a valuable safe, Johnny is held captive by a group of gangsters working for the Old Man (Peter Bowles) and led by the ruthless Jim (Kenny Doughty). It’s a Reservoir Dogs-esque tale that can only end in one way.
Though the film does at first feel a little unsteady and amateurish, it quickly finds its feet. It’s tense, the dialogue witty and wonderfully absorbing. The small set and frequent use of close-ups lend the film a claustrophobic feel that adds to the atmosphere of uncertainty and panic. The characters too are excellent; there are no stock crime archetypes to be found here. Each feels completely unique, no matter how briefly we touch on them, a rarity in the gangster genre. While it may pay homage to many of the classics, there’s nothing about the film that feels stale.
Cole’s performance as Johnny is top notch, with the perfect balance of vulnerability and determination. Doughty is ideal as the suave psychopath and Adam Nagaitis (who plays the conflicted Dave, fighting to step out from under his dead brother’s shadow) does a brilliant job. With big names like Phil Davis and Bowles to round out the cast there’s not much to gripe about.
It’s a shame this film is seeing such a limited release, as it easily has all the makings of a classic British gangster film. As it stands though, In the Blood is truly excellent and if you can make it to a showing, do so – you won’t be disappointed.
In the Blood is released nationwide on 28th April 2015.
Watch the trailer for In the Blood here: