Blood Flower (2023) Movie Review – Ghosts and gore as an exorcist battles demons of his own

Ghosts and gore as an exorcist Battles demons of his own

Blood Flower is a Malaysian horror film that tells the story of Iqbal, a teenage boy who, after witnessing his mother die during an exorcism, becomes tormented by visions of ghosts and decaying zombie-like corpses. Only there’s a catch: he has these visions of people dead before they actually die.

Blood Flower is the latest film from director Dain Said. It’s loaded with kills that stick with you, gore that is reminiscent of The Evil Dead, and it also packs an emotional punch in its first ten minutes. As mentioned above, teenage Iqbal loses his mom due to battling a possessed woman during an exorcism. Iqbal already carries the burden of seeing ghostly creatures roaming all around him. But after his mom passes, they become more grizzly and gory.

His gift and curse he inherits from his mother both make him feel torn inside as he accepts the power he has in exorcism, yet also want to be a normal teenage boy.

When it comes down to dramatizing Blood Flower and its major conflict, the film seems to want to rely heavily on jump scares rather than the mythos of the world it creates. It’s simple and easily forgotten in the mess of the plot, but there are little insert shots of carnivore plants that could be argued that they’re making some sort of artistic statement that never pays off. Blood Flower is chaos with its blood and gore, and ever more so in its through line.

What Blood Flower is trying to do really well is tie in a coming-of-age drama and the whole gang of kids in a neighborhood vibe really well. Idan Aedan does shine bright in the lead role of Iqbal. His character is highly conflicted, but for the audience having a medium in the lead role is a treat, usually this role is given to a supporting character therefore making us not get too emotionally invested in it. Although there is a lot on the outside of his performance that does not add up, Adean does help improve a bit of the film’s flaws. 

The film’s hour and forty-two-minute run time starts off feeling like you’re in for a real treat with a ghost story. International horror that goes that route usually entice American audiences, but because the films last 40 minutes, Blood Flower gets exploitative and hard to follow. It wants to have some sort of deep artistic stamp with its out-of-body experience scenes, and then pulls you back in with brutality against its female characters.

It may be culture shock, but there are just things that don’t add up with the film. A prime example is the giant plant – the Blood Flower if you may – which is this large folic thing that does not get a full explanation to it.

You’re somewhere you thought you wouldn’t be by the film’s third act and the twist that comes with it. Usually that’s a fabulous thing to do in a movie because then you realize you went on a journey. Blood Flower’s twists show harm to its female characters and never let them be more than just victims.

There could be more atmosphere in a film of this nature, but it goes the gory route and makes the plot feel clunky and crammed with points that make absolutely zero sense. Shudder has had a long list of remarkable international acquisitions for its subscribers these past few years, but Blood Flower is a definite miss.


Read More: Blood Flower Ending Explained

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