[Documentary Review] BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE

[Documentary Review] BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE
BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE l Small Town Monsters
Our favorite cryptid documentarian, Seth Breedlove, is back with another look at folkloric Americana in his new documentary, BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE. Breedlove and his production company Small Town Monsters are one of the tops in terms of quality documentaries covering some of the most unknown parts of the country and the hidden things that might lurk in them. While we are not strangers to the world of cryptozoology, this documentary feels just a bit different than the rest.

In BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE, we take a look at the legend of the Jersey Devil with a more scrutinous eye than just looking at witness testimonies. The Pine Barrens of New Jersey is a desolate place with very few people living among the dense trees but eyewitness accounts of the Jersey Devil stretch from the spattering of small residences through the Barrens all the way to the densely populated city of Philadelphia. What are these people seeing? It is all the same creature or are these sightings the product of some of the first occurrences of fake news and sensationalism in the mass media market?

Not only do we take a look at the origins of the possible beast, but BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE also looks at the historical implications of a legend such as this. Could the slandering of a family turn into the urban legend of a dragon-like creature living in the trees of the Northeast? Could the native names of the land itself have assisted what would become what we know of now as the Jersey Devil? Or was the 13th Leeds child really birthed as a winged, horse-faced, hooved monster?

One thing that can be said about every Seth Breedlove documentary is that they always look amazing. Whether we are watching the sweeping drone shots of how beautiful these locations are or we are watching re-enactments, the camera work is superb. The lighting for the dramatic sequences looks incredible and everything just looks *chef’s kiss*. The music for this documentary specifically was fantastic because it would change depending on what time period the audience was watching.

The only negatives regarding BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE are the little short films that break up each segment of the film. Bookmarking each section is a time period-themed short film that relates to the upcoming section. While there is nothing wrong visually with the short films, the mediocre acting and the drastic difference in short film vs documentary style can really remove the audience from what they are seeing. As entertaining as the short films were, I enjoyed the interviews far more than the short films in between. If they were trying to be moderately silly, then they succeeded. But, if they were going for serious, they come off as more hokey and unnecessary.

Short films aside, BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE was another successful notch in the post of Small Town Monsters. The film was engaging, informative, entertaining, and above all, just really good to look at.

BLOODLINES: THE JERSEY DEVIL CURSE is now available on major streaming platforms, from 1091 Pictures, including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and FandangoNOW.

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