(director/writer: Daniel Tucker; cinematographer: Henry Ceiro; editor: Daniel Tucker; music: David P. Wright; cast: Rachel Hudson (Jessica Cutler), Jordan O’Neal (Thomas), Jordan Hancock (Georgine), Aria Goodson (Arcadia ), Vivian Glazer (Katie), Nick Triola (Michael), Les Best (Father), Austin Hall (Seth), April Hartman (Dani); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Rachel Hudson/Paul Hudson/Rod Meek/Daniel M. Armendariz; Lola Cat; 2020)

It’s just a bad film.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The title is derived from a traditional American church hymn. Writer-director Daniel Tucker (“Ashes to Ashes”) is a former movie critic. His writing here is simply awful compared to being only mediocre for his directing. His dark thriller indie pic about the horrors of religious indoctrination will be opening on Aug. 4th on a direct-to-VOD release.

prologue in black and white has the founding father (Less Best) of a new church in town, called Emeth, give an unsmiling ‘fire and brimstone’ speech about strictly following the Bible for your path to God or else you’re a sinner who deserves to be punished.

The twenty-something Jessica (Rachel Hudson) is a small-town journalist sent to cover the grand opening of the controversial extremist new Emeth church in a fictitious rural Texas town. She’s informed that in previous churches founded by this same group, the Emeth congregation stoned sinners.

Instead of investigating the evils of the church, she begins a romantic relationship with the twenty-something Thomas (Jordan O’Neal), the son of the founding father, who has become uncomfortable as of late with the extremism of the church.

Jessica makes no friends among the worshippers, but has a best friend Katie (Vivian Glazer) who she confides in.

Several jolting violent incidents are covered, as the narrative is stretched out over several years.

None of the actors impressed, the story was unpleasant and pointless, and the musical score was more annoying than musically supportive. It’s just a bad film.

      But the Blood (2020)

REVIEWED ON 7/30/2020  GRADE: C-