Bleed With Me – Nightstream Film Festival

Bleed With Me is hard to pin down. The synopsis is easy: two lovers and a third wheel coworker go to a cabin in the woods for a week away, and slowly the third wheel starts to realize that something might be amiss. Where the trouble lies is truly pegging down what makes the film so unsettling. Is it the almost oppressive winter air that stands in stark contrast to the warm glow of the cabin? Is it the constant imagery of self-violence and mental instability? Is it the blood?

The horror of Bleed With Me comes at a price. In order for the woozy tone and unreliable narrator to play for as long as it does, we’re unfortunately left with a bit of a shell in our protagonist Rowan. Actress Lee Marshall does great work with what she’s given, but the confines of the story don’t give her the chance to truly move beyond a two-dimensional protagonist. In fact, the score does most of the heavy lifting for characterization, establishing the terror moment to moment of being trapped in Rowan’s head. Combining the eerie score with some truly stellar direction from Amelia Moses and it’s quite easy to see why these types of horror films have lingered so long. It’s just very hard to remember much of it once the credits roll.

Tales of vampirism are about as old as print, so to see a new take on a vampire story would be a difficult feat. Bleed With Me is a bit more unique in the mixing of the elements, but by the film’s end it’s hard to have one defining moment that will stick. It’s a slow burn narrative that mixes an unreliable viewpoint and a fear of being locked in with a monstrous friend, and it works. It’s just unfortunate that there isn’t much to grab on to, but it is an excellent footnote for Amelia Moses’ future career in horror direction.

Grade: B-
Reviewed by Cassie Jo Ochoa

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