DVD Review: ‘Autumn Blood’ Is A Visually Stunning Mess

After the death of their mother two siblings living alone on a rural farm in the Austrian mountains conspire to keep their newfound orphan status a secret out of fear that they will be split up. The harsh realities of the world are thrust upon them as they are attacked and brutalized by wicked villagers who live nearby. Faced with the evils of the world it is up to the two children to come together and survive.

‘Autumn Blood’ is an odd and somewhat unsettling movie with beautiful visuals and a plot that is somewhere between non-sensical and non-existent. There is very little dialog in the film. Most of the atmosphere and storytelling is done though vibrant imagery and facial expressions. While this method is able to convey a lot (though arguably not enough to make the movie captivating) it is unable to explain sufficiently what the motivations for why such bad things to happen to the children and their family. The film sets up a clear dichotomy between good and evil and seeks to show how the two often coexist right next to each other, but while doing so it decides that explanations are overrated.

The film grabs a hand full of metaphors and beats them into the ground. Its consistent emphasis on anonymity (we are never told any of the characters real names) and shock (senseless violence and nudity) just don’t have the affect that the filmmakers likely wanted. By the time the film ends it is difficult to explain the merits of what you just watched. ‘Autumn Blood’ is a visually stunning and haunted mess that relies a bit too heavily on experimentation and not enough on plot development.

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