“Blood Bonding” (2016): Eerie Atmosphere and Visceral Practical Effects Highlight Spanish Horror Short


A long, writhing, piece of the human anatomy leads up a staircase to a mysterious room in Spanish filmmaker Xavier Rull’s horror microshort Blood Bonding. A young woman (Anna Gonzalvo) is frightened of it – as well she should be – but she also seems determined to find the truth behind it and perhaps put an end to it.

Though quite brief, Blood Bonding manages to pack in a great deal of dread, atmosphere, and gory special effects in its running time of less than two minutes. Creaking doors, unearthly cries of pain, and Jaume Duque‘s other chilling sound design techniques blend with impressive practical effects and Cesc Nogueras‘ solid cinematography, resulting in a suspenseful viewing experience.

Anna Gonzalvo plays a woman who tries to overcome her terror to discover the secret behind an enigmatic body part in the Spanish horror short Blood Bonding.

Anna Gonzalvo dominates most of the screen time and she does a bang-up job with her performance. Daniel Horvath also appears in a brief but crucial role, acquitting himself well.

Mónica Murguía’s practical special effects are striking. The creeping body part – no spoilers here – seems quite alive. One particular effect involving a knife seems a bit tame and perhaps less realistic when compared with what else occurs in Blood Bonding, but it’s brief, and not enough to sour the experience of watching the short.

Practical special effects bring a mysterious human body part to life.

Director Xavier Rull cowrote the screenplay with regular collaborator Maria Rocher and genre journalist Howard Gorman. The pacing is tense thanks to the the writing, Rull’s directing, and José Luis Romeu’s editing. The reveals are thrilling, though they are likely to leave some viewers with questions. That is understandable  in the case of a short like Blood Bonding, which is more concerned with telling only part of a tale rather than providing a long back story.

Blood Bonding, co-produced by North America’s Crypt TV and Spanish company Noctambule Cinema, is Crypt TV’s first production foray outside of the United States. The short is currently featured on Crypt TV’s Facebook page; you can watch it for free here.

Blood Bonding: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)


Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.