Bleed (Movie Review)

Jayson's rating: ★ Director: Tripp Rhame | Release Date: 2016

There are horror films that have a solid motor that drives themes, imagery and proudly carry with it a full appreciation of the language of film making to craft a unique movie going experience. Bleed is none of those things. It is film with so little desire to create a cohesive narrative structure nor pay attention to development of any kind it barely counts as a series of vignettes. This is a cacophony of hooting, weird southern caricatures, ineffective jump scares and spooky flashlights in the woods.

Bleed, barely gestures at telling the story of Matt (Michael Steger) and Sarah (Chelsey Crisp) who alongside two other couple share dinner with some guests to celebrate their new, soon to be born baby daughter. There, in their new country home a ghost story about a cannibal preacher is shared alongside corn on the cob and a giant spoonful of wooden and uninteresting dialogue. Wouldn’t you know it, one of the couples, Sarah’s brother Eric (Riley Smith) and his girlfriend Skye (Lyndon Smith) are dead-beat hippie ghost hunters, so off they go into the woods to explore the burned down prison that once contained the cannibal priest with the dangerously pregnant women in tow.

Watching this, you quickly get the feeling that there was no script, despite the credited screenwriter. Here it feels like there was no planned outcome, no fleshed out ideas nor story boarding, just a few cameras, a bunch of actors, details be damned. The epitome of gorilla film making.  At least I hope that was what happened, otherwise everyone involved should be incredibly embarrassed.

 Nothing really happens, at least nothing concrete or established in the world of the film; just hairy men with red pudding coming out of their mouths and a bunch of screaming and neck slicing. It’s an insult. An affront to honest horror film making where people put hard time and effort into crafting a story they want to share. All of the structure that makes for great storytelling is a messy and pointless afterthought. This is an ugly shambling muddle of a movie with a tacked on fifteen minute flashback complete with redneck weirdos, a little girl and a last dying death rattle hope that the audience never catches on to the fact that this isn't a film. It’s a series of images that can’t be bothered to carry the weight of its own under baked premise.

Bleed did however have one achievement; it made an hour and twenty minutes feel like six.



Staff Writer

At the age of 9, Jayson saw a child's head get crushed under a tire in the Toxic Avenger and has never been the same. He spent nearly his entire childhood riding his bike to the local video store to secretly renting every scary movie with his friends and reading his way through the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books and all the works of Stephen King. A writer, drinker, and lover of Boston sports he spends most of his time living out his dreams and wishing fall would never end in Connecticut.

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