Book of Blood is a 2008 British Mystery-Drama-horror film directed by John Harrison and stars Jonas Armstrong, Sophie Ward and Doug Bradley.
The film starts with a hooded, apparently disfigured individual eating at a diner, being watched by a stranger at the bar. Unknown to him, the man's name is Wyburd (Clive Russell) who has been stalking the young man. He eventually convinces the boy to join him in his truck, where he soon passes out. The boy awakens strapped to a table and Wyburd offers the boy a choice by killing him; offering him a slow death, or a quick and clean death by hearing the story of the Book of Blood: a series of scars and inscriptions carved from head to toe. Opting for a clean death, the boy reveals his story.
A young girl alone in her bedroom is violently hurled against the ceiling, raped and beaten in her bed while her parents stand outside screaming her name. Shortly before the authorities break in, an unseen force rips her face off and inscribes on the doorway "Do not mock us." Several months later, a paranormal professor Mary Florescu (Sophie Ward) and her partner Reg Fuller (Paul Blair) investigate the house in order to unlock its mysteriously murderous past. Mary encounters Simon McNeal (Jonas Armstrong) a seemingly clairvoyant young boy in her classroom to whom she develops an attraction, both physically and due to his mutual connection to the paranormal as she had had a similar encounter in the past. Simon reluctantly signs on to assist in uncovering the presence in the house, and the three of them move in. The first night, a series of strange encounters culminates in an attack on Simon as he is hurled across his bedroom. A series of writings on the closet walls light up, much to the shock of both Mary and Reg. Mary begins to develop intimate feelings for Simon after a particularly arousing dream, and focuses on his abilities unlocking the potential of paranormal studies in the house. Reg expresses his doubts and has Mary take the charred writing to a lab for an analysis.
Simon reciprocates Mary's feelings and the pair fall in love, in particular after a second incident which was more violent and prevalent than the first, Simon awakening with more scars across his body, and Mary has a violent encounter of her own where she is terrified by the spirits of a group of little girls. She tells Simon and Reg that when she was a child, she had seen a fountain which was dried up, but every night would become soaked and spraying with blood, fearing being called crazy, she never told anyone about these visions, when excavators decided to remove the fountain, they found the body of a little girl. Tracking down the girl's father, they found he had claimed six more victims before being caught, wracking Mary with guilt for not telling the authorities of what she had seen. One afternoon, Mary receives a phone call and abruptly departs, leaving Simon on the street. When he tracks her down at the house, she reveals that she discovered he had been lying, using gunpowder and sulfur to create the "paranormal" experiences. He confesses that the first time he did fake it, but the second time was real. After she refuses to believe him, he storms out. Reg comes in later and she shows him a transmitter sewn into the bottom of his mattress which was used to flicker the power of Reg's equipment during the experiences. Simon returns, determined to prove that he really had his powers back, as he had believed he had lost his clairvoyance when he was thirteen, after the death of his brother which he had predicted (the prediction which earned his reputation to Mary). This time determined to keep his powers, he goes up again to face the ghosts and again is attacked.
Mary runs up to the attic while Reg spots a terrifying ghost while on the second floor landing and falls over the railing, killing himself when he lands on the equipment below. Mary enters the attic bedroom and sees Simon writhing in agony as a long distant horizon displays itself over the scope of the room. The ghosts carve into Simon's flesh through a variety of means, nails, glass shards and finally Mary understands; she is the key to opening the way for the ghosts, her powers were what awakened them, not Simon's. She remembers what she had been warned earlier: "You didn't listen" and swears to all the ghosts that she will tell all of their stories. The ghosts heed her words and depart, allowing Simon to survive the ordeal.
Simon reveals to Wyburd that he was then on cursed to be the book on which the dead write while Mary wrote books and made millions off of the stories portrayed on him. As she seemed to age, he remained the same youthful appearance, only more and more scarred with new stories, new tales for her to write, portrayed to her as he stood on a cross before her desk. He admitted he couldn't take it anymore, so he ran hence the reason Wyburd was hired to remove his skin. Wyburd, having been unmoved from the depth of the story lives up to his end of the bargain and kills Simon quickly. After placing his skin neatly into a suitcase he seats himself to wait for his payment. While he waits, blood suddenly starts pouring from the case, slowly filling the building that Wyburd is trapped in, and he drowns. Afterward, Mary arrives, and seeing Wyburd on the ground she is not fazed as she moves to the suitcase and opens it, pulling out Simon's intact skin and smiling as she begins again to read the stories still being written upon the flesh.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonas Armstrong ... Simon McNeal
Sophie Ward ... Mary Florescu
Clive Russell ... Wyburd
Paul Blair ... Reg Fuller
Romana Abercromby ... Janie
Simon Bamford ... Derek
Doug Bradley ... Tollington
Gowan Calder ... Janie's Mother
Graham Colquhoun ... Simon's Father
Marcus McLeod ... Janie's Father
James McAnerney ... Doctor Nigel Blake
Joy McBrinn ... Waitress
Charlie McFadden ... Joanne
Jack North ... Simon (age 11)
Andrew Scott-Ramsay ... Male Student
Directed by John Harrison
Produced by Clive Barker
Written by Novel: