A Surprisingly Strong Opener For The Guerrieri’s…

I watch and review an enormous amount of first-time efforts and from time to time, I come across one that strikes a chord and makes me pay close attention to what’s going on, on-screen. Trail of Blood, was such a film because it took me by surprise. The premise is one I’m quite frankly getting bored writing as I do it several times a week. A group of twentysomethings go camping and get their asses killed by a lunatic with an axe/knife/machete/gun/bare hands (take your pick) but they all end up being pretty much the same movie with a different cast and director.

Then there’s the likes of Trail of Blood, that manages to throw in all sorts of extra and interesting elements, to make this film different from all the clones that are being churned out in an already saturated genre.

Trail of Blood
Written & Directed by
Joseph Guerrieri & Justin Guerrieri
Robert Picardo, Tim Barraco, Trevor Torseth
DVD Release Date
3 December 2013
Nav’s Grade: B

Trail of Blood tells the story of seven friends, led by Jim, who decide to go camping in the woods, but unknown to them, a killer is on the loose and is being hunted by the FBI. They’ve tracked the disgraced Marine to these particular woods, but before they get close to him, he’s grabbed five of the kids who had accidentally stumbled onto two dead bodies he’d just killed, and is now playing sick games with them. Jim (Tim Barraco) had arranged the camping trip so he could break the news to his girlfriend that he’d just, coincidently, enlisted in the Marines, and now it’s up to Jim to try to take control of the situation they’ve found themselves in by attempting to connect with the ex-soldier and save his friends lives, but things go very bad for the group after the killer shoots one of them in the head and then starts a game of Russian roulette.

There were a few faults with Trail of Blood, like trying to creep the audience out with cheap scare tactics during the first act, but the directors created a decent atmosphere of foreboding and managed to keep it up throughout the film, and this was helped with some decent cinematography from Collin Brink, along with some respectable editing.

The cast performed well enough for low-budget film with only Tim Barraco and Trevor Torseth (The Marine) getting a chance to do anything of note. The FBI agents were Ray Campbell (Breaking Bad) playing Agent Lindsey, and Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager) as Agent Weston.

This is one part I thought the Guerrieri’s underutilized this arc of the story as Weston obviously had a personal thing going on with the Marine, yet his involvement was reduced to some short bits of dialogue with Lindsey where we learn about who they are and why they’re after the Marine in the first place, then a scene right at the end, but this may have been down to the budget.

Taking into account this film is a first-time affair by the Guerrieri’s, and Trail of Blood was put together for only $85 thousand, you can forgive the faults that come with a tight budget like this, and they’ve clearly used their budget wisely. I enjoyed this film from beginning to the bloody end and was glad to see something a bit different for a change. I hope the Guerrieri’s get some recognition for this film because it certainly kept me entertained, so kudos to the directors for that. A well deserved four stars out of five.

by Nav Qateel