A horribly scarred youth is having breakfast in a dingy diner and he's being watched by a sinister looking guy, who ends up kidnapping him right after he exits the place. The young man wakes up to find himself strapped to a table. His kidnapper explains that he's been hired by a collector and that the collector wants his skin. But before he proceeds with the flaying he says he can make his captive's death quick or unbearably long. In return for the promise of a quick death he has to tell a story, since he's literally a living "Book of Blood", the tales written into his flesh.
The story begins with a young woman being attacked in her bedroom by an invisible entity, which tosses her around and then peels her face off. When her parents find her body they see the words "Don't mock us" written in blood on the wall.
We then cut to a University teacher who is talking about the supernatural. She is supposedly an expert about it and has written some well-known books. She goes, with an assistant, to that house where the girl was slain, in the hopes of getting concrete proof of her theories regarding the dead. She recounts the history, how the house was built in the early 1900's by an occultist, who was similarly murdered.
This teacher soon takes an interest in one of her students and offers him a ride home one night when she sees him walking in the rain. But he's hesitant and instead of taking the ride warns her to drive safely. Shortly afterwards her tire blows out. When she does some investigating on him she finds out he experienced some psychic experience when he was a child, just as she had. Much to the dismay of her assistant, who has an interest in her, she invites her student to the old house to help with the study. This is when weird things start happening, such as more writing on the walls.
As supernatural events escalate and she becomes more involved with the guy and something is revealed that changes everything. It's in this last third of the movie that things really heat up and some very bad things happen to the characters. I particularly liked the twist ending, which ties directly to the beginning of the movie.
I enjoyed this Clive Barker adaptation as much as I did THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN.
The movie does start off slow but there's a great payoff. BOOK OF BLOOD is definitely one of the best horror flicks of 2009.