Although there have been numerous books and television documentaries that link The Third Reich to the occult, there remain critics who believe such links are tenuous at best. In the entertainment world, however, such disputes do not make much of a difference, as the link between the Nazis and the occult started as late at 1959 has fueled various films, from blockbusters such as Raiders of the Lost Ark to mainstream thrillers such as The Boys from Brazil to outright underground horror that range from Shock Waves to Dead Snow.
Originally released in 2009, Blood Creek (also known as Creek or Town Creek) is directed by none other than Joel Schumacher, whose films include The Lost Boys, Flatliners, Falling Down, Batman Forever, and The Number 23. Like many of Schumacher’s previous horror outings, Blood Creek comes with a very strong and intriguing premise that sadly yields a lackluster movie when actually executed.
The story involves a German occultist by the name of Richard Wirth (Michael Fassbender). Wirth’s research has led him to America (West Virginia), where the Wollner family has discovered an ancient stone covered with Norse runes. Wirth has researched the occult power of such runestones, and he intends to use the stone to further the Nazi cause. However, the Wollners discover his intention and trap him on their property, using the very runes to bind him there. However, Wirth is a powerful sorcerer in his own right, and he casts a spell that traps the family in a sort of time stasis within which they will never age.
Such as fascinating premise then falls apart with the story proper, which focuses on a pair of brothers, Victor (Dominic Purcell) and Evan (Henry Cavill) Marshall. Victor served in World War II and several years ago disappeared while on a camping/fishing trip. Suddenly, Victor returns, but he keeps his return a secret to everyone but his brother, in whom he confides. Victor claims that he was captured by the Wollner family and was horribly tortured—he now wants to return to the farm and exact revenge on the whole family.
The brothers begin to carry out their plan, but in the process discover that the Wollners are in fact the true victims of a hideous plot carried out by the still-very-much-alive Wirth. Unfortunately, the brothers set Wirth free at last, and the vampire-like creature begins to reanimate dead animals and humans to do his bidding, all the while working on a plan to dominate the world. It is up to the brothers, in conjunction with the surviving members of the Wollner family, to prevent Wirth from succeeding in his diabolical objective.
Like many horror films today, this one ends with a possible set up for more sequels. It turns out that Heinrich Himmler sent out other occultists into other parts of the United States on similar missions. Evan then takes it upon himself to hunt down and stop these eight other Nazi agents who could very well have the same powers as the formidable Wirth.
Although not a bad movie, Blood Creek is not very good either. Although the story is relatively fresh, the direction effective, and the acting solid by all the performers, there simply isn’t much horror on display. The many rules around the binding of Wirth are a bit much, and the melodrama between the brothers and their father adds little to the plot. The special effects are pretty good, but the handling of Wirth as a vampire-like figure could have been much more menacing and exciting. And then there is the ending, which makes this movie little more than a stepping stone.
The principal problem with this movie is the number of loose ends through the production. For example, there’s an idea that wearing the bones of Wirth’s ancestors somehow protects the wearer. But the actual execution of this idea falls flat, as does the armor. Another failed idea is that Wirth is attempting to open his “third eye.” The actual reason for this attempt is vague, and when it looks like he is successful, there is no real gain for either Wirth or movie watchers alike.
Fans of Nazi occult stories and horror fans seeking out fresh ideas would do well to watch Blood Creek. However, understand that even though the ideas in the movie sound really, really good, the execution of said ideas comes out as lackluster at best.