Malaysian horror film Blood Flower blends The Sixth Sense, Insidious, The Conjuring and, er, Little Shop Of Horrors with intermittently scary results, as a teenage boy with the gift of second sight tries to save his family from a gory flower/demon threat. The slightly bonkers plot has Iqbal, played by Idan Aedan, recovering from his mother’s death following an exorcism of a djinn gone wrong. Like his mother he has paranormal powers, but his overprotective father, Bront Palarae, tries to keep him under control, tying his abilities so that he doesn’t lose another member of his family.
Unfortunately, their faceless concrete block of a home has a demon threat of its own, which is possessing and picking off adults and kids with abandon. There are also dodgy relatives, drug-dealing brothers and rooms full of carnivorous plants that have to be tended. The source of the demonic threat appears to be some hugely phallic plants, which are hiding bones, leaking blood and a beast, that resembles a nasty Groot, in a locked room.
Lots of logical leaps are made in the machinations of the barmy plot: children get possessed, grannies throw themselves off buildings and nasty gore comes out of mouths, as a sort of possession tag between the family and friends of Iqbal continues. It is gory and often impenetrable, but never less than interesting – a different cultural take on exorcism proving diverting.
Though there are weird tonal shifts and the film is overlong, there are also uncomfortable queasy moments that prove stomach-churning – notably, a gruelling birth involving a machete isn’t for the faint-hearted. Blood Flower has some real commitment to possession acting from its cast: a fairly compulsive watch that throws a lot of genre tropes at a very gooey, bloody wall.
Dir: Dain Said (18, 102 mins)
Blood Flower is streaming on Shudder now.
words KEIRON SELF