Skip to main content
The Independent Critic

Jeanine Bartel, Melissa Skirboll, Maureen Van Trease (Voice)
Melissa Skirboll
14 Mins.

 Movie Review: Blood is Thicker 
Add to favorites

Writer/director Melissa Skirboll is no stranger to The Independent Critic. Whenever a Skirboll film crosses my desk, I'm always aware to expect the unexpected. She's back with the 14-minute Blood is Thicker, a comedy-fantasy that introduces us to two sisters, Jessie (Jeanine Bartel) and Shana (Skirboll). The two have gathered for what seems to have been a long-awaited dinner at Jessie's home. There's an obvious tension between the two - it's a tension exacerbated, it would seem, by concerns about their mother and the usual debate over one sibling managing far too much of the responsibility. 

Doesn't sound like a comedy? 

Oh, it is. 

Currently on its festival journey, Blood is Thicker has upcoming screenings at Fort Myers Film Festival later this month on May 25th and at the Glass Ceiling Breakers Film Festival in Philipstown, NY on June 16th. Skirboll's films are always festival faves, her unique vision and ability to pull that vision off a delight to watch. Indeed, I've never managed to catch a Skirboll film on a bigger screen and I'd absolutely love to do so. 

Both Skirboll and Bartel are absolutely a delight here, Bartel, in particular, selling a character arc that draws you in then makes you giggle with delight. Bartel has been working on the indie scene for quite some time and she simply never disappoints. 

Skirboll also hits a homer as Shana, who's built a life for herself with what we'd likely call "family of choice." She toys with us throughout Blood is Thicker and it's a blast watching it all come to life. 

Blood is Thicker features excellent lensing by Andrea Ocampo with an original score by Louis Robert King that amplifies the film's ambiguous narrative tones. Skirboll's script, quite wisely, keeps us guessing about what's going on but also keeps us entertained the entire way. 

Blood is Thicker is yet another film from Skirboll that festival audiences are guaranteed to love. Already having picked up the Best Screenplay - Short at Momohill Film Fair for Skirboll, there should be plenty more prizes yet to come on the film's festival journey. If you get a chance, definitely check it out. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic