August 16, 2016 Bleed (Movie Review)
One of the most vulnerable states in a woman’s life is during pregnancy. An often uncertain time, it makes the perfect backstory for Horror stories such as 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby and 2015’s Visions. Also approaching this topic is newly released Horror film entitled Bleed. Written by Ben Jacoby and Tripp Rhame, who also directed the film, Bleed features a main character named Sarah (Chelsey Crisp: Sludge 2007, Scare Tactics TV series) who is also heavily pregnant, but this is no ordinary pregnancy. Considered a Supernatural Thriller, the film received mixed reviews when it hit VOD this past March, and is scheduled for a release on DVD as of November 8th via Gravitas Ventures.
Opening with young girl having a strange interaction with two older men in a small town after the disappearance and subsequent death of the girl’s friend, the story then changes. After living and working in the city, young married couple, pregnant Sarah and Matt (Michael Steger: 90210 TV series, The Winner TV series), have recently moved to the country. Matt, a GP, is going to set up a local practice, and they plan on having their baby born in their new home. To celebrate this exciting new stage, Sarah and Matt are joined for the weekend by their friends, Bree (Brittany Ishibashi: Emily Owens M.D. TV series, Supernatural TV series) and her boyfriend Dave (Elimu Nelson: Ex-Best TV series, The Summoning 2015).
From a child, Skye’s heard voices and seen people others do not. After finally seeing a psychiatrist, she is medicated and no longer sees things. She is kept this information from Dave, but as yet it has not affected their burgeoning relationship. Not long into their celebrations, Sarah’s brother Eric (Riley Smith: Nashville TV series, The Messengers TV series) and his girlfriend Skye (Lyndon Smith: Parenthood TV series, 90210 TV series) arrive in their camper van. They intend on not only staying the weekend, but for an undisclosed amount of time.
Despite the unexpected visitors, Sarah, Matt, Bree, Dave, Eric, and Skye relax and start to explore the local area. In the woods behind their new home lies an abandoned psychiatric facility, which was once responsible for cruelty to patients. At some point, the patients gained control and burnt the place to the ground. Being amateur ghost hunters, Eric and Skye are keen to check it out. Sarah stays behind while Matt, Bree, Dave, Eric, and Skye head through the woods to the building. Almost as soon as they get inside, they encounter strange visions, with Skye in particular affected by what she sees. Simultaneously, Sarah also begins to hear and see unexplained things, which leads her to find a diary of a young girl who lived in their house years ago. As the weirdness around her escalates, she believes the house is haunted by the girl. The only way to stop it, is to find peace for her.
Matt, Bree, Dave, Eric, and Skye become trapped in a loop of tragedy from the past and their reality is torn to shreds. The group they discover is linked to a local cult, a man named Kane (Raj Kala: The Mysteries of Laura 2015, Hear No Evil 2014), and the young girl who lives in their house. Knowing these facts do not change their inability to escape the evil remaining in the facility, which will not rest until they are all dead. Sarah faces her own battle with evil, and alone, must protect herself and her child.
There are a lot of positive aspects to Bleed, such as the cinematography by Mark Carroll, which is of excellent quality for his debut film. The acting, special effects, and dialogue are realistic, but this is where the good parts end. Aside from the cliche characters, from the get-go, it is as if there are two separate stories going on. The first scene in the movie has little to do with the remainder of the plot. It is captivating and intriguing, yet it sets a converse perspective for three quarters of the story.
Furthermore, there is mention of a supernatural incident in Sarah and Eric’s childhood, but is not delved into at any other point. A deeper explanation may have helped cement the disparities in the plot in the viewers’ minds, otherwise, there is little point in it is insertion. Likewise for Bree’s apparent psychic abilities. This all being said, Bleed is a dent watch for many reasons, though to attain some level of understanding, it is necessary to watch it a number of times. CrypticRock gives Bleed 3 out of 5 stars.