Cinema/TV, Film Notes

Fantasia Festival review – Bleed With Me

My notes on Bleed With Me, which has screened/streamed at the Fantasia Festival.

Writer-director Amelia Moses recently made Bloodthirsty, a female viewpoint werewolf movie.  This miniature companion piece is, obliquely, her stab at a vampire movie … or, rather, a movie about bloodletting and various kinds of vampirism.

Rowan (Lee Marshall), a timid young woman, is invited by her work friend Emily (Lauren Beatty) to a winter retreat in the proverbial cabin in the woods – though the women’s friendship is clouded from the first by the slight disapproval of Emily’s boyfriend Brendan (Aris Tyros), who’s polite to the guest but would much rather be having cosy couple time.  Scars on Rowan’s wrists show she has a history of cutting – and she half-tells a story about being stalked – but other oddities in the situation, from the ravaged rabbit hung up on a nearby tree to the vivid dreams-or-are-they Rowan has that indicate her friend might be secretly tapping her blood.

A quiet film, with whispered, elliptical conversations and a chilly air of incipient crack-up, Bleed With Me might seem uneventful, but tiny, creepy moments add up to a powerful and disturbing vision.  Of course, the home stretch gets gruesome as psychological problems find physical expression.  It doesn’t take many of the obvious turns, and Moses’ script is sold by remarkable, understated performances.

Maybe Moses should do Frankenstein next.


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