Welcomes to Bloodride’s fifth episode, The Old School. Thus far throughout its inaugural season, Bloodride has dipped its toes into multiple horror genres. As The Old School opens, our ‘bus driver’ adjusts the mirror. The camera slowly pans across the rows of passengers before stopping at a smiling young woman reading a book covered in blood.
The Old School ‘Re-Opens’ an Old Mystery
New teacher Sanna arrives at Asak school, which is re-opening 40 years after being shut down. Though she’s settling well into her new job, Sanna notices increasingly strange things around the school. First, she sees an old maintenance man, Jager, wandering the halls. But colleague, Trine, claims he no longer works at the school. Later she hears a child crying in the basement, but finds no one when she investigates. Back at the boarding house where she’s staying Sanna confides her fears to owner Agda, who doesn’t seem surprised that something’s not quite right at the school.
…souls sometimes get lost and need help to find the ‘other side’.
Strange things continue happening when Sanna returns to work. Following one of her classes, she hears a child’s voice again before seeing a piece of chalk scrawl “help us” on the board. Later that evening, Agda tells her that souls sometimes get lost and need help to find the ‘other side’. The next day, Trine, reveals that four children from the school disappeared years ago. When Sanna finds an old class school photo, the school’s director tells her the story of four siblings whose mother died, leaving them alone. Before she goes home, she finally sees the siblings’ shadows who warn her that a ‘bad man’ took them away.
The Old School Telegraphs Its ‘Twist’
Now obsessed with the four missing siblings, Sanna finds their old home in the woods. But while she’s searching the abandoned cabin, Jager frightens her away, warning Sanna that the family was dangerous. Back at the boarding house, Sanna and Agda continue investigating the siblings’ disappearance, certain Jager was the ‘bad man’. As they’re looking at the old class photo again, Sanna finds an old paper hidden in the frame. Written on the paper is an incantation meant the assist the spirits of the dead find their way to the other side.
Not everything is as it appears.
Later that evening, Sanna and Agda return to the school’s basement where they find the children’s buried remains. As they begin the incantation, the children’s spirits appear and thank them. Suddenly,, Jager appears and begs Sanna to stop. He claims that the siblings were actually the ‘Devil’s children’ and sources of immense evil. As Sanna turns around, the siblings’ faces have horrifically contorted, their mouths filled with sharp teeth. The episode abruptly ends with Sanna’s final screams.
The Old School Recycles Familiar Horror Tropes
With its fifth entry, The Old School, Bloodride delivers its first genuinely bad episode. In addition to its cookie-cutter plot, this is the first story that feels like its relying solely on cheap jumps and contrived set-ups. Missing from this episode is the dark humour that’s worked so well in earlier episodes. And the trim runtime feels like a detriment to the series for the first time. There’s no time here to build any mythology and develop real atmosphere. Simply put, The Old School feels insubstantive and disposable.