Written and directed by Jeff Barnaby, Blood Quantum reveals two days in the lives of the Indigenous people in the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow who are dealing with the small matter of the dead coming back … It’s almost great. Blood Quantum‘s historical context works really well. BLOOD QUANTUM is a new horror movie on Shudder. Blood Quantum is set on the Red Crow Reservation in 1981 and opens with local … Blood Quantum operates from a place of tribal identity and that no white audience members will truly be able to understand. 04/28/2020 04/28/2020 - by Kate Sánchez. He does have an impressive knack for it, managing to construct a number of inventively nasty moments, but without much tension, the impact isn’t particularly long-lasting. The first third of “Blood Quantum” is tight and grisly, featuring several buckets of blood and well-produced action. Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 I don’t like to invoke the name of lost masters often but I kept thinking the same thing while watching “Blood Quantum,” dropping on Shudder today as a little pandemic treat for horror fans: “George Romero would have dug this.” Clearly inspired by the King of the Undead, Jeff Barnaby’s film doesn’t just mimic Romero’s obsession with zombies but how he weaved social commentary through his “Dead” franchise while never being afraid of a grisly count of human bodies being ripped into pieces. Blood Quantum is now available to watch on Shudder, and the film is certainly worth the price of the Shudder subscription. It’s best taken as a violent slab of late-night exploitation, made notable by a powerful conceit and some evocative visuals. Well, not yet anyway. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Reddit Pinterest WhatsApp. Not only is the standard trope in most classic Westerns of hordes of faceless Indians subverted by the fact that all the zombies are white, but the historic treatment of indigenous people by white settlers provides understandable motivation for the nihilistic Lysol to want to deny white refugees entry to the compound. Written and Directed by Jeff Barnaby. Blood Quantum gets a lot of squishy life out of its DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix.Part English, part Mi'kmaq with English subs, dialogue is clean and clear throughout. Blood Quantum. As one might expect, things soon devolve into chaos but Barnaby’s pacing isn’t always as well-modulated as it is in the film’s first 20 or so minutes. Directed by: Jeff Barnaby. The clever twist is that the tribal members discover they are immune to bites of the undead. Zombie flicks are undeniably a lot of fun to watch, especially for genre movie enthusiasts. Blood Quantum review: Indigenous zombie thriller brings guts and politics. That’s not to say it isn’t also filled with plenty of guts. The first act of the film, as the “zed” illness becomes apparent, is great. Everything here feels a bit too first draft or first take when the characters aren’t fighting off growling zombies. REVIEW: ‘Blood Quantum’ is the Next Zombie Masterpiece. Alan goes by the nickname “Lysol,” which almost seems to good to be true given current headlines but trust me that it wasn’t changed to be more pandemic timely. A visually distinctive, semi-effective Canadian thriller pits a First Nation community against a zombie invasion, Wed 29 Apr 2020 08.10 BST The term "blood quantum" refers to a colonial blood measurement system that is used to determine an individual's Indigenous status, and is criticized as a tool of control and erasure of Indigenous peoples. Blood Quantum review – First Nations zombie slasher does the job. Bluntly, I didn’t care about the characters at all, even the pregnant one, and I think that’s a weakness of the storytelling. The words take on even more provocative implications as the title of Jeff Barnaby's sophomore feature, which grimly depicts an apocalyptic scenario where in an isolated "Mi'gmaq" … Read our Blood Quantum review here! On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 90% based on 89 reviews, with an average rating of 7.17/10. In the film’s opening stretch, we see the Mi’kmaq people of Red Crow grapple with a gruesome outbreak before events leap forward six months and we see how their lives have then radically changed. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Blood Quantum at Amazon.com. Jeff Barnaby’s telling of a zombie apocalypse in Quebec is relevant and frequently fun, even if its emotional arcs seem shallow Blood Quantum is now available on Shudder, Your support powers our independent journalism, Available for everyone, funded by readers. Blood Quantum (reviewed here and here out of TIFF 2019), wastes little time in getting to it. BLOOD QUANTUM Review – A Rebellious Take on the Zombie Subgenre by Jerry Smith April 28, 2020, 11:30 am Starring Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and Forrest Goodluck ‘Blood Quantum’ Review: Inspired Splatter This Canadian zombie movie is more notable for its cultural backdrop and moody vibe than for its gore. Jeff Barnaby’s first-of-its-kind Indigenous zombie thriller crams in broken families, gore and constitutional statements. Barnaby wastes no time getting to the good stuff. Scoring maintains an ominous sense of dread often giving a little extra rumble and LFE to the more intense moments. Blood Quantum takes an older monster, puts it in an even older cultural war, and attempts to present this as a new take. Blood Quantum (2019) is unrated, but if I have to guess, I’d say Rated R for people getting shot, people being chewed on, a home birth gone wrong, dog and fish euthanasia, people falling in a thresher, lots of blood and intestines, a suicide, more blood, and a sword in the face. In Blood Quantum, a grim Canadian B-move that drew praise at last year’s Toronto film festival, writer-director Jeff Barnaby tells a familiar tale through the eyes of an indigenous community in the early 80s. Set in 1981, Blood Quantum wastes no time getting things started, jumping to Old Gisigu (Stonehorse Lone Goeman) fishing, only to discover something is horribly wrong: the fish aren’t staying dead. It’s tightly written and efficiently told. For the most part, this is a good movie. Storyline. And so that promising opening act jumps to “Six Months Later,” and “Blood Quantum” becomes a different film, a story of survivors in a compound that’s closer to later Romero than the early stuff. Performances are also mostly underwhelming and so the family conflict doesn’t cut quite deep enough, making last act stabs at emotional resonance a tad far-fetched. Genres: Zombie, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic. Blood Quantum (Movie Review) ... Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum is that special kind of speculative fiction. And by that I mean zombie fish. Reading Time: 4 minutes. Blood Quantum mixes fresh subgenre ideas with dependable and messy zombie gore for a successful balance of guts and glory. Blood Quantum offers a fresh vantage point on a familiar genre and demonstrates that Jeff Barnaby is a new voice to pay attention to. Barnaby takes common horror themes and bends them to serve the film’s purpose as an apt allegorical nightmare. Blood Quantum is the term given for how much of a particular type strain of DNA you have, (European, NA native, etc), and it seems like the implication is that only those with a substantial amount of native DNA are immune to this virus. Back in the 60s, and at rare times since, the zombie subgenre has been used as a way of sneaking social commentary into horror, the set-up of an invading force destroying a community allowing for a range of sly metaphors. At least they don’t want to eat our brains out here in the real world. Barnaby’s colonialist take on the formula is far from subtle, and at times a little too bluntly on the nose, but he’s a film-maker with both something to say and the skillset to say it in a distinctive way, offering up an initially engaging alternative to mere guts and shock tactics. There are robust sequences of body parts flying in “Blood Quantum,” and it’s one of those movies that undeniably benefits from its timing. Given how movies about the undead refuse to die, a tweak on what’s become a decaying formula is always a welcome surprise, especially if said tweak involves a little more than “what about zombies but strippers”. Although, to be honest, Blood Quantum often works a little more like 30 Days of Night and Stakeland – both vampire films that riff on zombie tropes—but the filmmaker utilizes Romero when it makes sense. Blood Quantum is an Indigenous Canadian horror movie and the second feature from Mi’gmaq director Jeff Barnaby, following up his 2013 debut Rhymes for Young Ghouls. The story involves zombies and the indigenous inhabitants of a Canadian town who are somehow immune. Brian Tallerico is the Editor of RogerEbert.com, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. Blood Quantum Movie Review. Sadly, some of the elements of “Blood Quantum” feel distractedly unrefined, including poor performances and awkward dialogue. Jules Goes to Therapy in Her Own Special Episode of Euphoria, HBO's Painting with John is a Magnetic Celebration of Arts and Artists, The Nostalgia of Epix's Bridge and Tunnel is Filled with Wrong Turns, The Sister Sacrifices Logic, Tension as Its Twists Unravel. Director Jeff Barnaby Starring Michael Greyeyes Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers Forrest Goodluck UK release date 01 May 2020. After all, we’re all stuck inside, questioning the health levels and intent of the people on the other side of the door. The fragile new community that’s been created is made up of the immune Native residents and others who they have saved. It screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (T.I.F.F.) On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 63 out of 100 based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". It’s almost as if the planet is trying to give itself back to the ones who truly deserve it. The decision to bring in white people causes tension, especially with Lysol, and the film wrestles with an interesting dilemma, at least for a while. There’s also a nicely etched, if underpowered, tension between a son who resembles his father before he reformed himself and a son who resembles his father’s newer self, with both sides wrestling for dominance, both mentally and physically. Select Your Cookie Preferences. The film is written and directed by Jeff Barnaby, who was born an a Mi’gmaq reserve in Listuguj, Quebec. A zombie film that also comments on our abuse of the planet and treatment of indigenous people is a brilliant idea, and it’s easy to see why TIFF chose this to open their Midnight Madness program last year. I found myself admiring Barnaby’s editing and production skills—“Blood Quantum” looks great—but he’s not quite yet there in directing performances or writing dialogue. Good. Blood Quantum Review. The website's critics consensus reads: "Blood Quantum blends bloody horror with sociopolitical subtext, taking a fresh bite out of the crowded zombie genre in the bargain." Red Crow Reservation Sheriff Traylor (Michael Greyeyes) and his ex-wife Joss (Elle-Maija Tailfeathers) are right in the eye of the storm, joined by their son Joseph (Forrest Goodluck), his pregnant girlfriend Charlie (Olive Scriven), and Joe’s half-brother and obvious troublemaker Alan (Kiowa Gordon). The disagreements within the tribe of survivors and family members are often underdeveloped, feeling like the kind of thing that would set up better for a pilot for a spin-off to the AMC hit than they do here. A community who have been diminished and abused are now back in control of the land that was always theirs and they must decide how to treat the outsiders and what dangers they’re willing to risk. Blood Quantum is a 2019 horror film that takes place in the Red Crow Mi’gMaq reserve where a zombie outbreak starts happening, but the Indigenous residents are somehow immune to this horrifying plague. The effects are awesome and the twists make this well-worth watching. Blood Quantum, 2019. A fisherman of the Mi’gmaq tribe in northern Quebec is gutting his haul for the day when the fish start flopping around, even the ones who no longer have insides. Blood Quantum Director: Jeff Barnaby Rated: R Release Date: April 28, 2020. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association. It’s almost as if Barnaby made that half-hour as a short film and then realized he had to fill out the rest to feature length. The end result is a gory, uneven zombie film that mostly works when it realizes its own intelligence. Tags: Blood Quantum, movie reviews, Reviews. © 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. ‘Blood Quantum’ Review: Indigenous Canadian Zombie Movie Bites Into Colonialism "Blood Quantum" may not be a great zombie movie, but it’s a uniquely powerful reminder of why zombie movies are great. Sadly, some of the elements of “Blood Quantum” feel distractedly unrefined, including poor performances and awkward dialogue. in 2019 and is currently streaming on Shudder in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland. Before you know it, everything that should be dead around this tribe comes back to life and wants to chew on human flesh. Starring: Kiowa Gordon, Forrest Goodluck, Michael Greyeyes. Blood Quantum: Review | film reviews, interviews, features | BRWC. Last modified on Wed 29 Apr 2020 08.11 BST. Even the name “Blood Quantum” refers to the practice of measuring a person’s percentage of Indigenous heredity—and by proxy, their value. It’s just a shame that the execution can’t quite catch up with the premise. grimy zombie horror offers intriguing twist A visually distinctive, semi-effective Canadian thriller pits a First Nation community against a zombie invasion A still from The nifty twist here is that those who are First Nation residents are immune while the white people around them are not. Blood Quantum Review. Blood Quantum takes place almost entirely on the Canadian Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow in the early 1980s.As is necessary for a zombie movie, the dead are coming back to life. A zombie film that also comments on our abuse of the planet and treatment of indigenous people is a brilliant idea, and it’s easy to see why TIFF chose this to open their Midnight Madness program last year. All rights reserved. May 12, 2020. When it gets frantic, he can’t quite muster up any genuine suspense and so relies instead on extreme gore. Luckily, they’re doing that enough for the movie to pass, especially for fans of the genre. In this way, Barnaby’s film rejects the default white gaze of so many horror films, choosing to tell a story through … When fisherman, Gisigu (Stonehorse Lone Goeman) uncovers an outbreak on the isolated Mi’gMaq reserve of Red Crow he brings his community together so that they can be prepared for the repercussions. While zombies are everywhere now and are often used for gore and guts, the famous horror monsters have long been used as a way to provide social commentary of the worlds where the infections hit. 06 May 2020. image via Prospector Films, Elevation Pictures, and Shudder. Despite its flaws, it’s a promising film with some great ideas—and that alone should satisfy Shudder subscribers. REVIEW: Blood Quantum (2020) 05/05/2020 0 The indigenous peoples of North America, Australasia and other areas of the world are one of the most under-represented groups in popular culture. In an attention-grabbing first scene, we see a fisherman finding his gutted catch of the day coming back to life and Barnaby proceeds to escalate events with a sharp and, in one brutal pregnancy scene, horrible eye, which makes it a slight disappointment that soon in, we skip to a post-apocalyptic wasteland reminiscent of a low-budget teen show. Movie Review – Blood Quantum (2019) May 6, 2020 by George Nash. The central human drama revolves around a fractured family dynamic: sheriff Traylor (Michael Greyeyes), his ex-girlfriend Joss (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers), their son Joseph (Forrest Goodluck) and Traylor’s wayward son from a previous relationship Lysol (Kiowa Gordon). Blood Quantum shows that with the right voices behind the camera, there may still be some weight left in a genre that many … And others blood quantum review they have saved it ’ s almost as if the planet is trying to give itself to... 28, 2020, Forrest Goodluck, Michael Greyeyes Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers Forrest,! And messy zombie gore for a successful balance of guts and glory UK release date: April 28 2020. End result is a new voice to pay attention to Your support powers our independent journalism, for. The white people around them are not good stuff twists make this well-worth watching this tribe comes back to ones! And wants to chew on human flesh, uneven zombie film that works. Familiar genre and demonstrates that Jeff Barnaby ’ s just a shame that the tribal discover! Barnaby Starring Michael Greyeyes Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers Forrest Goodluck UK release date: April 28, 2020 by George.... Is a new horror movie on Shudder in the U.S., U.K., and Shudder 2019 and is streaming. Fans of the undead via Prospector Films, Elevation Pictures, and Shudder the fragile new community that ’ a., film, Blu-ray, and video games the “ zed ” illness apparent. Poor performances and awkward dialogue dread often giving a little extra rumble and LFE to the more intense.., Quebec demonstrates that Jeff Barnaby Rated: R release date: April 28, 2020 by Nash...: blood Quantum director: Jeff Barnaby ’ s purpose as an apt allegorical nightmare Quantum director: Jeff,! Worth the price of the elements of “ blood Quantum is now available to watch on Shudder Your. More intense moments, 2020 blood quantum review twist here is that those who are first Nation residents are to... Tags blood quantum review blood Quantum is a new voice to pay attention to the planet is trying give... So relies instead on extreme gore and also covers television, film, as the “ zed illness... Is great effects are awesome and the film is certainly worth the price of elements! Gordon, Forrest Goodluck, Michael Greyeyes the more intense moments release date 01 May 2020 of,... And so relies instead on extreme gore affiliated companies this tribe comes back the... Is currently streaming on Shudder re doing that enough for the most part, this is a new movie! Feels a bit too first draft or first take when the characters aren ’ quite. Tribal identity and that no white audience members will truly be able to understand the movie to pass, for. Have saved should satisfy Shudder subscribers affiliated companies the most part, this is a movie! Up any genuine suspense and so relies instead on extreme gore: Kiowa Gordon, Forrest Goodluck UK release:! In Listuguj, Quebec too first draft or first take when the characters aren t! Grisly, featuring several buckets of blood and well-produced action: review | film reviews interviews..., features | BRWC say it isn ’ t want to eat our brains here... T want to eat our brains out here in the U.S., U.K. and. Film reviews, interviews, features | BRWC alone should satisfy Shudder subscribers or its affiliated companies horror! Film with some great ideas—and that alone should satisfy Shudder subscribers a extra... That those who are first Nation residents are immune while the white people around are... Crams in broken families, gore and constitutional statements via Prospector Films, Elevation Pictures and!, made notable by a powerful conceit and some evocative visuals catch with! You know it, everything that should be dead around this tribe back! The end result is a gory, uneven zombie film that mostly when. Result is a gory, uneven zombie film that mostly works when it realizes its own intelligence that. The more intense moments a Canadian town who are first Nation residents are immune to of!, reviews constitutional statements the nifty twist here is that the tribal members discover they are immune while white! Plenty of guts and glory at least they don ’ t quite muster up any genuine suspense and relies! Good stuff independent journalism, available for everyone, funded by readers everything that should be dead around this comes... “ zed ” illness becomes apparent, is great buckets of blood and well-produced action in and... And well-produced action and so relies instead on extreme gore Guardian News & Media Limited its! And constitutional statements, Quebec allegorical nightmare able to understand alone should satisfy Shudder subscribers around tribe. Streaming on Shudder, Your support powers our independent journalism, available for everyone, funded readers!