Blood Quantum follows a group of Mi'gmaq survivors following a zombie outbreak. Immune to the virus' nasty effects, the group attempts to navigate the moral and ethical maze of the new reality and still find a way to survive.
Blood Quantum Review
Blood Quantum doesn't bring any fresh takes to the zombie genre. The zombies are a mix between runners and walkers, using the decomposition-over-time design to explain the range of speed of the undead. There is a group of survivors that are immune to the zombie disease. There is a semi-stable fortification that is coming apart at the seams due to inner conflict over how to handle outsiders. So...like I said, nothing terribly original on the surface.
But Blood Quantum uses the horror vehicle, like so many other recent films, to drive a discussion on race, and to that it deserves a viewing for giving a voice to a people that rarely get one to the general public. Sure, it uses a stale platform of a zombie apocalypse, but it does so with high production value, some creative and effective cinematography and artful scenes, and powerful writing and acting throughout. The characters are the true gem of the film, with deep and intertwining relationships that drive the depth of the film.
As with many films and shows of a similar ilk, the zombies take a back seat to the horrors of humanity and our struggle with hate in moments of severe stress and fear. That doesn't meant there aren't plenty of gruesome scenes to behold, as zombies are taken apart in a variety of ways throughout. But still, the characters are key here, and rarely has one been so connected to a group of people, caring for their well-being and survival.
There's hatred for the hateful and empathy for the lovable, crossing the spectrum of emotions for the viewer as they traverse the complexities of this group of people. Despite all of its redeemable qualities, there is the overwhelming feeling of a well-worn road. Character studies amidst a zombie apocalypse are a dime a dozen. There is little that hasn't been covered yet. In general, these films feel like a cheap ploy sometimes to give reason behind a heightened level of emotion and exasperated action. Blood Quantum doesn't feel wholely unoriginal to this end, but it also isn't uniquely special in its plot and delivery.
Blood Quantum is equal parts fun horror romp and deep character study, bridging the gap for a wide spectrum of viewers, though it takes a strong affinity for horror to get through some of the more violent and dark scenes. It is certainly a film most viewers wouldn't be disappointed in watching on Shudder.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 5/10 Film Quality: 7/10