Book of Blood
Book of Blood (2009).jpg
Title: Book of Blood
Directed by: John Harrison
Written by: Darin Silverman; John Harrison
Produced by: Clive Barker; Jorge Saralegui; Joe Daley; Nigel Thomas; Micky MacPherson; Lauri Apelian; Anthony DiBlasi; Carole Sheridan; Karl Richards; Peter Bevan; Jeremy Burdek; Nadia Khamlichi; Adrian Politowski; Richard Reiner; Charlotte Walls; Tina Foster [1]
Music by: Guy Farley
Cinematography: Philip Robertson
Edited by: Harry B. Miller, III
Distributed by: Essential Entertainment
Matador Pictures
Plum Films
Released: March 7th, 2009
Rating: R
Running time: 100 min.
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Budget: $6,000,000 [2]

Book of Blood is a British horror film of the ghost and haunted house subgenres. It is based on two short stories from Clive Barker's Books of Blood series; "The Book of Blood" from Books of Blood, Volume One and "On Jerusalem Street" from Books of Blood, Volume Five (also known as In the Flesh. The film adaptation was written and directed by John Harrison and co-written by American writer Darin Silverman. It was produced by Essential Entertainment, Matador Pictures and Plum Films and distributed through the home video market by Lions Gate Entertainment. The movie premiered in Europe on March 7th, 2009.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Simon has seen better days.

In a diner in Strathclyde, Scotland, a young hooded man with scars across his face and hands has great difficulty eating his meal. A bearded man sitting across the diner named Wyburd observes him with great interest. He communicates with a mysterious benefactor through his earbud, indicating to them that he has found their "skin". Wyburd follows the young man outside and offers him a ride. The man complains that he needs to sleep and just wants to go home. Wyburd drives him to a cabin in some remote location. When the man comes to, he finds himself strapped to a table. Wyburd admits to being a sociopath and tells him that he is going to flay him. He gives him the option of a quick or slow death.

Some undisclosed amount of time earlier, a teenage girl named Janie lived with her parents at the Tollington Building in Edinburgh. Janie lived in the upstairs loft, and discovered to her unending horror that this building was located at an intersection between the land of the land and the highways of the dead. Tormented by ghostly entities, Janie was brutally mutilated when an unseen force tore her face off. The parents moved out following this tragedy and the house remained on the market ever since.

Mary checks out the building.

Mary Florescu is a teacher of parapsychology in Edinburgh. She fervently believes in the paranormal and has already written a book on the subject. She meets a new student named Simon McNeal, and there is an instant attraction between them. Mary wants to investigate the paranormal phenomena that has occurred at the Tollington Building and hires a tech engineer named Reg Fuller to assist her. She discovers that Simon has some level of psychic ability and believes that he might hold the key towards unlocking the mysteries of the Tollington Building.

Cougar lady.

The three set themselves up and sexual tension continues to grow between Mary and Simon. She even begins having dreams about him. Some phenomena does begin to take place including strange cryptic writing on the walls of Simon's room. Reg feels that Mary thinks to highly of her clairvoyant and is rattled when he finds that the two begin sleeping together. Reg suspects that Simon is a fraud.

Reg's assertions are not completely without merit. Mary and he both find out that Simon smuggled in some meager items to create the writing and he even payed a man to sneak an electronic device into the house (attached to his bed) designed to foul up Reg's equipment.

The ghosts are gettin' uppity.

As time passes, there is no denying that there is something truly dark and menacing locked within the house. Cryptic symbols and writings in various languages begin appearing on Simon's skin, literally carving themselves into his flesh. They come to find out that this house is a nexus point for ghostly activity and the more time they spend there, the more prominent the wraiths' presence becomes. As Simon continues to suffer from more and more scars appearing on his body, Mary and Reg witness the souls of various ghosts walking throughout the house. One of the ghosts frightens Reg so badly, that he backs himself up against an upstairs banister and tumbles over, falling to his death. His soul joins the ranks of those who add their tales to the surface of Simon's skin. Mary discovers that it is not Simon who is the ethereal link that connects the souls to this location, but rather it is she. Mary understands that these souls need their stories to be told. Mary promises them that she will tell their tales to the entire world - with Simon as her canvas.

Not the healthiest of relationships.

Simon eventually flees from Mary, unable to endure any more torment. It is at this point, some years later, that Simon finds himself in the diner and meets Wyburd. Wyburd takes Simon back to the cabin, where he threatens to skin him. Simon opts for a quick death and Wyburd obliges him by cutting his throat. He then expertly skins Simon's body and packs it away inside of a silver suitcase. He contacts Mary, who by now is a wealthy successful author, having made her fortune off publishing the stories etched upon Simon's flesh. But now she wants him back, so she can continue reading their stories. When Wyburd demands payment for services rendered, Mary uses her own paranormal abilities to trap him inside the cabin. The room begins filling with blood and Simon ultimately drowns.

Mary arrives shortly thereafter. She has white hair and a black outfit. She enters the now-empty cabin and takes Simon's skin from the case. She returns to her home to continue reading the tales of her veritable Book of Blood.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The first part of the framing sequence of this film is adapted from the short story, "The Book of Blood", which was the prologue to Books of Blood, Volume One. The second part of the framing sequence at the end of the film, is adapted from the short story "On Jerusalem Street", which was the epilogue to Books of Blood, Volume Five.
  • This film's full credit profile page on IMDB lists four additional cast members who are uncredited. Martin Brettie as a ghost, Roman Green as a ghost, Javed Khan as the World War I and 1980s ghost and Rhys Maitland-Jones as a contemporary ghost. As their names are not listed in the film itself, they are not included in the above cast-list.

Explicit content[edit | edit source]

  • Drowning: Wyburd is shown drowning to death in a room filled with blood.
  • Female rear nudity: Janie's buttocks is partially exposed during her death scene. Mary's full buttocks is visible prior to her sex scene.
  • Female topless nudity: Both of Mary's breasts are plainly visible during two different sex scenes. No body double is used in these scenes.
  • Flaying: Janie's face is partially torn off and her full skinless face is visible later. The scene of Wyburd skinning Simon is not explicitly shown, but his epidermal remains are scene postmortem.
  • Male frontal nudity: Simon's penis is partially visible, along with pubic hair, during his first disrobing scene.
  • Male rear nudity: Simon's buttocks is visible in several disrobing scenes as well as partially visible in the scene where he is crucified.
  • Mutilation: Through paranormal forces, Simon McNeal's body becomes a living book of blood, with ghosts carving words and symbols into his flesh in various languages. The numerous scars open and grow with each new entry and cover his entire body.
  • Profanity: Infrequent uses of "shit" and "fuck" in this film; most of them spoken by Reg Fuller.
  • Slit throat: Wyburd slits Simon McNeal's throat with a knife as a form of a merciful death before skinning him. The slow death option would have been to skin him alive.
  • Torture: Simon McNeal undergoes physical and psychological torture at the hands of Wyburd. He is also shown crucified later. Throughout the film, Simon suffers physical trauma from the writing that appears carved into his flesh.

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

Films based on the works of Clive Barker[edit | edit source]

Haunted House films[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Producers on this film are listed in credit order from the film itself. The full credits section on this page's IMDB's profile mis-spells Micky MacPherson's name and associate producer Tina Foster's as well as executive producer Richard Reiner's names are omitted.
  2. IMDB; Book of Blood (2009); Box office & business.
  3. IMDB; Book of Blood (2009); Box office & business.
  4. IMDB; Book of Blood (2009); Filming locations.
  5.; Book of Blood (2009); DVD.

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