The Blood Lands/White Settlers (2015)

Have you ever had the desire to go off the grid and move to the countryside in the middle of nowhere? This movie will shake that desire out of you pretty quickly. In fact, you might just find yourself shaken in general after watching this one (I certainly did).

This is another Pollyanna McIntosh film, and she’s great as always in it, but it’s not quite the right role for her. Maybe it’s just because of the characters she’s played in other films, but I do not see her as the damsel in distress type. She’s usually a strong, fierce fighter (or survivor), which I think suits her. I believe she’s got that strength in her, which made it hard to believe many of the situations she gets into in this film.

Oh sure, she has some fighting moments (and certainly some surviving moments), but I think some other actress would have been more fit for the role. Her husband Ed, on the other hand (played by Lee Williams, whose work I don’t think I’ve seen before), was perfectly cast. His character was believable through and through. And to be fair, the chemistry between the two — both the good and the bad — felt real and compelling.

The real stars here are the assailants terrorizing the English couple. Something about the way they moved and coordinated their attacks (and perhaps also something about the familial bond between them) really stuck with me and made this film that much more real and that much more terrifying. Once the action starts, this movie will have you at the edge of your seat, and if you’re anything like me, forgetting to breathe.

It’s not as though the attacks weren’t foreshadowed, however. Anyone paying attention might have heard that bitter relatives of the deceased previous owner of the home the couple purchased still lived nearby. And that Ed and Sarah don’t know anyone where they’re moving. And that they’re a couple from England moving to middle of nowhere Scotland. Seems…questionable, at any rate.

There’s not a lot of violence, but there are a few rather graphic scenes. The story is an interesting one, and the ending somehow manages to leave the audience feeling horrified yet hopeful. Overall this is an above-average home invasion film. Also, when I saw this on Netflix the first time, it was called The Blood Lands (and IMDb still has it listed as such), but some time since then it was renamed to White Settlers. I prefer the former title to the latter, but included both to make it easier to find this movie should you care to.

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