“In the Blood”
Fate and Family
If you like thrillers Lou Peterson’s “In the Blood” is the movie for you. Filmed in the style of the movies of the 1970’s with vivid characters and melodrama, “In the Blood” deals with sexual confusion, fate and family. Cassidy Clark is a closeted athlete who has been ambivalent about his sexuality and this has prevented him from dealing with a hidden talent that he has inherited. He has no family except a sister; he is forced to face himself.
When Cassidy began his senior year of college two female students were murdered. His younger sister, Jessica, is a freshman on the campus where he goes to school and her resemblance to the two murdered co-eds worries her a great deal. Cassidy tries to comfort her and promises that he will let nothing happen to her. However, Cassidy has reasons to worry. He suffers from nosebleeds which are accompanied by flashes of images in his own mind. Of late the visions have become more real and include his sister covered in blood. What makes this even stranger is that these visions come to Cassidy when he is physically close to good-looking men. He begins to understand that there is something here that he has not come to terms with. When he has an unsuccessful tryst with a young hustler, he sees his most shocking image and the very next day another girl is murdered.
Jessica begins to date Michael, a friend of Cassidy’s even though her brother does not approve of him. When Cassidy awakens one evening from a dream, he realizes that there is someone else in the room with him. It is his aunt and she tells him that it is possible that he has inherited the family gift of being able to see the future but only when having passionate sex. This causes Cassidy to embark on a journey of sexual discovery.
Writer-director Lou Peterson says “I wanted to tell a horror story grounded in the anxiety of the early gay experience” and that is just what he did. But this is not really a coming-out story as this is not where Cassidy is. He is not ready to come out as he has not yet accepted himself.
Driven by characters, the actors are large and strong. Their parts demand a lot and they manage to fulfill them admirably. As Peterson explorer both the fears and anxieties of coming out in a very atypical kind of movie, he realized
that emotional intensity on the screen had to be portrayed so he decided to highlight the psychological turmoil of a young man facing his sexuality. The themes of identity and discovery are the important elements in this first class film.