Some very good acting and a few good moments isn’t enough to really make Bleed the potentially good horror movie, it could’ve been.
I like being positive, so I’d like to start by pointing out something really great; We’re seeing a truly wonderful trend in many of the smaller/independent horror movies these years, which is the acting. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of really interesting (in a good way, mind you) performances by relatively unknown faces in this genre. Luckily, Bleed is no exception to this, and it helps the story and pace a lot. Not that Bleed has a lot of new faces, but they do give good performances.
Chelsey Crisp (Fresh off the Boat) stars as the very pregnant Sarah in Bleed and she does a great job. This ensures that we’re invested in the story right off the bat. The same goes for Riley Smith (True Detective, 90210), who plays her brother Eric. And while the cast works as a whole, I have to give special mention to Brittany Ishibashi (Emily Owens M.D.), who plays Sarah’s childhood friend, Bree. Ishibashi is both funny and represents those of us in the audience that finds everything scary and creepy quite easily, which means I’m relating to her instantly.
Unfortunately, another common denomenator for many horror movies with lower budgets – although this is nothing new – is the fact that the scripts (or plot lines in any case) would make great short films. For feature film length, however, the pace lacks and you find yourself losing patience and attention. It’s just sad, when you start out thinking “This is good, this is actually pretty damn good” and then a while later you’re left saying “What happened?!” and the answer is: Nothing! That’s like having a great appetizer and then a really boring dessert, which leaves you with a feeling that the entire meal was pretty boring – sorry, I’m hungry while writing this, so the food analogy was pretty easy to go with.
Now, I respect that we spend time getting to know the characters and the dynamic in this group of people. Honestly, I even enjoy it in Bleed since it’s relevant and interesting. And – it bares repeating – the acting just works! However, dialogue and relationship drama shouldn’t be the best – and most memorable – parts of a horror movie. That’s just a downright fail.
Tripp Rhame directed this movie, which he also wrote the script for along with Ben Jacoby, and this is the feature film for both of them. I’m sorry to say that it shows a bit too much. There’s great potential, but the storyline never really takes off as a horror movie. I will give them this though: The slasher parts work pretty well. It’s believable and used in the right way and at the right time. Some tweaking and a stronger script could have ensured a movie with a lot more power and memorable moments, but as it is, there’s just a bit too much wrong.
Bleed is available via VOD now
Director: Tripp Rhame
Writer: Ben Jacoby, Tripp Rhame
Cast: Chelsey Crisp, Riley Smith, Michael Steger
It seemed perfect – a new house, a new marriage, a child soon to be born. But when Sarah and Matt invite their friends to celebrate, the situation turns deadly as they enter a burned-out prison on a ghost hunt