By David Dent
Wes Craven’s 1996 movie Scream effectively cast the template for the culturally savvy horror film, and pop culture references now routinely litter scary movies.
But many of the people behind the 2015 horror anthology Volumes of Blood were barely born when the late director’s seminal work first appeared , and the whole modus operandi of this fun if scrappy film is an all- embracing embodiment of Craven’s meta movie for the next generation.
A student studying the origin of urban legends gathers with some friends in the college library and encourages each to make up their own. This is the rather slim linking device to the four stories of the anthology which are all interesting if of variable quality – similar to most ‘omnibus’ films then.
The first has a library-bound student, keen to stay awake, being offered an energy drink by a stranger that literally blows her mind. In the second, a librarian is stalked by a ghost. The third sees a student attacked by an unknown presence, while, yep you guessed it, studying in the library.
And in the last and longest segment, a student who wishes her dead boyfriend back from the grave via a book of spells gets more than she bargained for.
Volumes of Blood (volumes – like in books – geddit?) is the product of the Kentucky based Verite Cinema company, produced through their Unscripted Film School program at the Daviess County Public Library, where the whole film was shot.
Considering the paucity of the budget and the limits of the filming location, this is fast paced, funny and occasionally rather scary – ordinary student film it ain’t. It is rather let down by an end story after the main segments which feels rather tacked on, and at over an hour and a half the limits of the film’s structure and content are more than occasionally felt.
It’s all very post-modern and was obviously a lot of fun to make – there’s a lot to like in the movie, but a little shorter would have made it even better.