06 October 2016

31 Days of Horror Day 6: Bleed 2016 - REVIEW

31 days of horror means 1 review a day for 31 days. I'm already getting tired. But alas, for our loyal readers... all two of you... I will push through. Of course, I'm not sure what's harder, finding the time to write the reviews or having to sit through some of these movies.

Sarah (Chelsey Crisp) and her husband Matt (Michael Steger) have just purchased their first home and are expecting a child. They invite a couple of friends, Bree (Brittany Ishibashi) and Dave (Elimu Nelson) over for a housewarming type party and things are going pretty well until Sarah's freeloading brother, Eric (Riley Smith), shows up with his new girlfriend in tow. Tensions flare between Matt and Eric when things form the siblings' childhood is mentioned upsetting Sarah. One thing leads to another and Dave tries to settle things down a bit by mentioning an old haunted abandoned prison not too far from them. Eric, being a self proclaimed ghost hunter, talks the rest of the group into going to check it out. The situation turns deadly when they arrive at the prison and begin exploring.

The problem with Bleed is that there are far too many things going on in the short span of the films one hour and fifteen minute run time. Director Tripp Rhame throws multiple story lines together that intersect throughout the film but never quite connect. We've got ghosts and ghost hunters, satanic rituals and crazy baby steal hillbillies. There is a good base for the film but with so many different things, Bleed never finds it's own identity and with quite a dramatic ending, viewers will be left wondering what the hell just happened. It's almost like Rhame took elements from a bunch of other movies, tossed them in a blender but then forgot to mix it well. Sorry, I'm craving a margarita at the moment so while that analogy may seem weird to you, it totally makes sense in my brain.

The acting is above par for an indie film but the way the characters are written, it makes it hard to care much about any of them. Normally, when you construct a character one way, they stay that way from then on but Rhame and writer Ben Jacoby have them going in so many different directions. For example: Matt really despises his brother in law Eric so it makes no sense that he would allow him to goad him into exploring a supposedly haunted prison with a bunch of people they barely know. It's already been established that Matt is rather straight laced and protective of his wife so it's a hard sell that he'd just take off.

There are some pretty well done special effects and the location alone helps pull off some intense moments. However, that and a few jump scares isn't enough to save it from itself. Had Rhame picked a storyline and stuck with it, Bleed would've fared a lot better. As a horror fan, it's hard to get behind a film that leaves you with so many questions but there is still a bit of charm there. I would suggest it as a one time view but it's definitely not one that I can see people watching over and over, unless they're hoping to pick up something they missed the first time around.

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