Darya is more resistant to her vampire propensities, although a relapse seems inevitable. A subtly pained performance from an adaptable Gabriella Toth enlivens her character’s struggle for normality. Darya’s deep-seated craving for blood naturally serves as a vivid metaphor for drug addiction, considering that drug addiction is all-consuming and life-altering. And although this type of metaphor has already been painstakingly developed in Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction, Gabriella Toth’s performance preserves the metaphor’s vitality.
Jure’s constant bloodletting is not only intentionally humdrum, but it alludes to his downfall. In contrast, Darya’s impulse for blood is getting in the way of the normal life she yearns to lead with a convivial surgeon (Eric Cotti). Blood From Stone is an atypically staid vampire thriller with more to do with the nocuous relationship between two ancient vampires over some looming, bellicose threat. While there is a scene in which law enforcement is investigating Jure as a twisted serial killer, physical threats hardly play a part in Jure’s undoing (and for good reason because Jure is already an impending disaster).
“…a brazenly vicious, jolting, and oddly perceptive vampire thriller…”
Ryan upholds the vampiric savagery with every inflated ounce of blood sprinkled throughout. But even with lurid acts of violence and hints of character turmoil, the ponderous pacing can cause your mind to wander, especially when there aren’t too many engaging interactions between Jure and Darya. Truthfully, their first interaction stands out, particularly because of how an inebriated Jure tells a curiously descriptive tale of his glorious death in the midst of sunlight. Darya has potentially heard this rhetoric from Jure before because she instantly brushes him off. But this tale comes back to reckon with Jure in an ending that is fittingly modest.
The distressed lovers are also compelled to question their immortality and if it’s worth living in an ever-changing world when it’s impossible for them to change their barbaric ways. While that sounds like stimulating discourse, especially when it’s broached by a vampire, the discussion remains surface-level.
Ryan shot, edited, directed, and wrote Blood from Stone, which is a laudable feat in and of itself. It is true that the themes of immortality and existential panic leave much to be desired, and the sporadic violence implemented by Jure can detract from the dialogue and inner tumult of the characters. Howbeit, a measured approach to the lives of two vampire lovers proves to be quite effective. Blood from Stone has splashes of romance, violence, and naturalistic drama worth sinking your teeth into, however sour of an aftertaste it leaves.
"…a vivid metaphor for drug addiction, considering that drug addiction is all-consuming and life-altering."