Every now and then, a movie’s title alone will grab you and make you say “What the heck is this about?! I need to see this!” Blood Punch is a film that falls squarely into that category, with a title sequence that feels like a punch to the face in the best of ways. While the true meaning of that catchy title is never quite fully explained, the beauty of it all is that it doesn’t really matter.
Directed by Madellaine Paxon (who makes her debut with this film), Blood Punch follows through with its enticing name by delivering a maniacal, engaging romp through a twisted time loop.
The story opens with a group therapy session in a drug rehab facility where we meet Milton (Milo Cawthorne), who is doing court-mandated time for cooking meth. We immediately get the sense that Milo is a good guy who just got caught up in the wrong activities, which is a clear juxtaposition to the audacious Skyler (Olivia Tennet). She unapologetically makes it known she has no interest in quitting drugs, and furthermore, has an outlandish offer to earn a large sum of cash by making a batch of meth for a client; all she needs is a cook.
You can see where this is going. Initially, Milton is hesitant to take Skyler up on her offer, but she is easily able to seduce him into accepting. Unfortunately for him, he discovers after the fact that there’s another player in this deal – Skyler’s psychotic police officer boyfriend Russell (Ari Boyland). Both she and Russell assure Milton that the whole deal will take only one night, and he’ll walk away a rich man. The trio then set off for the secluded location they’ll be using to cook up all that meth, which just so happens to be a cabin in the woods, situated on the site of an ancient, bloody Native American war.
Viewers may be thinking to themselves that this is one of the most overused tropes in horror, and they’d be right. Thankfully, the cliches end there, as the movie veers off in the wackiest of ways, beginning with Milton waking up the following morning with the discovery of a very strange video of himself talking to, well, himself. Right away, we know something isn’t right when the Milton on video behaves in a shocking, erratic way. It’s at this point that we learn, right along with Milton and Skyler, that they are living the same day over and over, forced to kill Russell, now their main threat, in new and various ways.
To say more about the plot would be ruining the biggest strength of the movie, which is allowing the audience to move with the characters as they attempt to break the unending cycle of madness they find themselves in. The most notable weakness is that it does tend to drag during the third act, and could easily serve to have 20 or so minutes of content cut from it and still feel complete.
Blood Punch is equal parts Groundhog Day, Breaking Bad, and The Cabin in the Woods all mixed together to take you on a demented ride that will keep you guessing while messing with your mind.
7 out of 10