Blood Flower is a Malaysian horror/mystery film originally titled ‘Haram Malam.’ Directed by Dain Said, it is a low-budget movie that impressed viewers during its premiere at Fantastic Fest in September last year.
Ben Omar and Nandita Solomon assisted Said in the script writing.
Available on Shudder, the story is about a young apprentice exorcist named Iqbal who can see ghosts and spirits from the other dimensions. He also has a strong power of premonition – possessing the ability to witness someone’s death before they die.
Together with his friends and family, Iqbal needs to stop a demon, which he freed by harnessing his powers. He also unravels a terrible secret dating back to over eight years that started everything.
Blood Flower (2022) Movie Cast
- Idan Aedan as Iqbal
- Bront Palarae as Norman
- Nadiya Nissa as Dina
- Angelica Petra as Ilya
- Arnie Sasha as Ah Boy
- Remy Ishak as Jamil
Blood Flower (2022) Plot & Summary
Iqbal’s special powers come to the forefront from the beginning. While trying to fit in with his ‘normal’ friends, his mother’s voice beckons him towards an elevator. He witnesses his mother marking out torches for him and his father before realizing he is seeing the dead. Later, during an exorcism operation, his mother sacrifices herself in order to save him from a Jinn.
Norman returns to work as a masseuse for Jamil following Dina’s death. Upon hearing about his wife’s death, Jamil offers his friend a job in his greenhouse. All events then take place in the apartments. Viewers are introduced to the Blood Flower, an unnaturally large plant that has a demonic presence attached to it, as felt by Iqbal during his visit with Norman.
There is also a prohibited room in the greenhouse with a mantra paper pasted on the door. Norman specifically told Iqbal not to enter the greenhouse, but curiosity killed the cat. Iqbal, along with his three friends, Bob, Ali, and Ah Boy, destroy the mantra paper and enter the prohibited room. An invisible entity scares them away, making it clear that the gang has set loose a demon.
One after the other, the demon possesses and kills the people living in the apartment. Iqbal is continuously haunted at night by the sounds coming from the room above where the greenhouse is located. Afraid that Iqbal is losing his sense of reality, Norman tells a preacher to take his powers away, but only his healing abilities are lost.
Blood Flower enters into its final act when a possessed Ah Boy reveals itself to be Farah – Jamil’s first daughter who disappeared eight years ago. The action takes place in the forbidden room in the greenhouse, which turns out to contain a portal in the other dimension. Jamil arrives from a holiday and faces justice at the hands of the demon in front of his family and friends.
Blood Flower (2022) Movie Review
Rated M, the film has made good use of its unlimited scope for action to include blood, graphical violence, gore, and taboo topics like incest and demonic pregnancy to give horror fans memorable scenes. Iqbal dreams of eating the entrails of Grandmother Popo while perceiving Ah Boy to eat a fetus, which she gave birth to moments ago. There is also a scene where his mouth is almost split apart by the demon.
Blood Flower is a blend of supernatural horror with a coming-of-age drama attached to it. Formerly fearful of his abilities, Iqbal learns to take a stand to save his family and friends. The film has also made good use of Arabic folklore of the Jinn, not deviating from the interpretations in the holy texts, to depict the truly accursed beings.
There is also a sense of mystery, which the plot maintains till the end. A few revelations made by the characters in between statements add a sense of intrigue. Viewers get to know that Ah Boy had a sister when she reveals that her mother always cries after remembering her. When Iqbal goes into the forbidden room in the greenhouse, he sees blood dripping from a certain section of the wall. It is revealed that Farah’s spirit and a Jinn worked in tandem to cause the chaos in the apartment.
Blood Flower has a dark and demonic story, and viewers get answers to multiple questions that were raised at the beginning. Unfortunately, the horror scenes lack execution.
Blood Flower Races Into Scenes Which Becomes Problematic
Supernatural movies need an intense build-up to really capitalize on the curiosity of viewers with a horrific sequence. Except, the scenes in Blood Flower are rushed. There is a lot to take in: the Jinn passing one person to another and brawls erupting randomly in almost every scene. The movie tries to make use of jumpscares, but by the time we realize that it is a jumpscare, another scene flashes in front of their eyes, and it diverts our attention.
For example, Norman tries to get rid of the demon feeding on Ah Boy’s body. Once his back is turned, she attacks him and flees. The next scene shows the Ah Boy ambush Iqbal with a knife, but Norman faces the blow. Viewers get concerned about Norman, but their attention is taken to a much more haunting scene: the possessed Ah Boy embracing Ilya with a knife in one hand.
Believability becomes an issue in Blood Flower as the story jumps from one scene to another. Ah Boy seemed fine despite the torture she endured while she was possessed. Iqbal is able to learn or forget his powers with a few chants instead of a long, elaborate process that severs his connection with Allah. Norman is unable to spot either Bob or Rahim while working in the greenhouse as they get lured into the forbidden room.
The Jinn, who possess shapeshifting powers according to folklore, looks similar to Swamp Thing from the DC Comics in its original form. Even the ghosts aren’t that horrific, although the makeup work seemed extensive.
Instead of music, the story generates eerieness with squelching and cracking sounds that continuously haunt Ilya and Iqbal. While it does allow viewers to sink into the atmosphere, it becomes old soon. Blood Flower tried to mimic the bone-crunching scenes from The Exorcist, but they overdid that part when Ah Boy’s body twisted and turned constantly.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
Despite its shortcomings, Blood Flower is worth a watch considering that there are a few sequences that could really throw you off your feet. Idan Aedan shines in the role of a conflicted young man who is able to eventually understand the gift that he possesses. Remy Ishak is an antagonist who has little screen time, but it is enough to make the viewers loathe him.