In a house in northern France, a group of people await the return of some friends who have pulled off a daring art robbery. The house is owned by the father of one of the group, Mia, and it is she who has masterminded (or should that be mistressminded?) the theft from her own dad, there clearly not being much love lost between them.
When the party return with the stolen picture, the plan’s gone awry – one of them, Louie, was shot dead during the robbery. The group must decide what to do with the body, which they’ve brought back in the boot of the getaway car, and how they’re going to make their escape. Things get more complicated when Louie’s body goes missing, and Mia is killed.
Is Louie really dead? Is there someone else in the house with them? Who will be next?
I really liked this well-scripted, tense little thriller much more than I was expecting, in that some of the people behind the camera were responsible for the fairly poor 2015 film The Cutting Room.
Modestly budgeted at £55,000, it’s not overly flashy, but there’s some solid acting on display from the (very) young cast, and the script, by Rosy Deacon (already an award winner for her 2013 screenplay Shards) is well paced and allows the characterisation – and the red herrings – to develop well.
Ok it’s not particularly original – Shallow Grave visited the same basic set up over twenty years ago – and you do have to suspend disbelief in imagining this lot’s ability to pull off a major crime. But Blood Money is both efficient and ruthless, and builds to a great slasher-y climax.
Cast-wise the star of the film is arguably Scott Chambers, who the press pack tells us has already been praised by Mark Kermode as ‘a young DiCaprio.’ As the awkward Zander, Chambers is shifty and mumbling, and is as near as the film comes to comedy.
In fact I thought he was channelling one of Coronation Street’s finest characters, Graeme Proctor, in his performance – and he was clearly a big hit with the cast and crew audience with whom I saw the film.
To be honest I was quite privileged to see this on the big screen, as I think it’s unlikely to get a theatrical deal. It’s more televisual than cinematic, both in acting range and the look of the thing.
This is more an observation than a criticism though, as Blood Money is a gripping film that should do well on DVD and streaming services.