Top positive review
Different kind of werewolf movie set in 1877 Colorado.
Reviewed in the United States on May 14, 2019
"Blood Moon" is not the most perfect film. It's definitely not the worst werewolf-themed movie either. The combination of the western and horror genres is what makes it work. The story is straight-forward: a couple of loathesome brothers rob a bank and escape into the woods of Colorado. A sheriff and a Navaho Indian woman with conflicting opinions regarding the existence of the supernatural set out after them. A stagecoach filled with the most unlikely combination of characters with lots of secrets pulls into a ghost town/rest-stop to find the caretaker brutally murdered. Re-enter the evil brothers, who spit and shout and want to shoot everyone, but don't. The Blood Moon rises and all hell breaks loose during one frightful night filled with terror and a good amount of suspense as the group is picked off one by one. These people are rightfully scared witless, but their tough western way of living makes them a lot grittier than the typical horror film characters we're used to seeing. (You know, the ones who don't have more than four brain cells among them, and run screaming into the night to the barn where the killer is hiding? The stereo-typical buxom blonde babes whose total contribution to the action is that they have no common sense, but are great screamers?) The people holed up in that broken down saloon know how to handle stress, guns and just about anyone or anything that pisses them off. There are a few jolts and surprisingly fewer gory scenes, but that's enough to keep the story moving along and--more importantly--to keep us hooked to a not-so-inevitable conclusion.
A great part of what makes "Blood Moon" so good is the cinematography. Most of the scenes take place at night, where the only real light comes from oil lamps. The deep shadows and low, golden illumination make for a perfect atmosphere for this kind of horror/suspense movie. The music is effective and subtle and works well with the the lighting to underscore the surrounding darkness.
The acting is often a bit uneven, but with the variety of characters and their predicaments, it's easy enough to overlook some of the flaws. Everyone pretty much gets their share of screen time so no one gets lost in the shuffle. The ex-saloon woman is tough and believable, the mysterious stranger is approrpriately low key, the newlyweds are not quite ordinary and the bank-robbing brothers are obnoxious and twisted. It's kind of a group-character development thing that keeps them all interesting and in tune with their actions and reactions. They make us like them or hate them, and that's more than you get from the typical horror ensemble.
It's not boring and it's not perfect, but "Blood Moon" is worth a view. Above all, it's entertaining and it's a refreshing departure from the over-worked norm of the horror films we're used to seeing.