Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Bleeding House (2010)
Floored. I was absolutely floored after having watched this film. And I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of it before I decided to randomly check out the trailer and rent it through an online streaming video service (check out Vudu, it's fantastic). The film is powerful, riveting, dark and brutal. And it features the best performances I've witnessed this year, horror film or not. This nasty little indie gem will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout and it'll stay with you long after the credits roll.
At the onset of our film, we're introduced to a family of four and almost right away, we take notice of just how odd they are. The teenage daughter doesn't respond to her given name, only Blackbird. She has an entomological collection in her room and has a space outside where she keeps certain artifacts that she wishes to keep hidden from mom and dad. Mom anxiously cooks dinner, washes the knives and puts them back in the draw, locking it with a padlock quickly after doing so. Dad can't seem to catch a break in the new town, trying to land a job as a lawyer. It seems the townsfolk are well aware of the family's notorious history. The older son lashes out at the dinner table that night about the freakish nature of it all and expresses his desire to get out. This is clearly a family with some issues.
Before the family can finish dinner, the son tears out of the house with dad in pursuit. But before he can catch up, he bumps into a man out front, dressed from head to toe in a white suit, sporting a similarly colored hat, and carrying an aged leather duffel bag. A slender man with a southern drawl, he tells him that his car has broken down and it's very unlikely that someone will be out that night to come fix it. He instantly charms the pants off of the man of the house as he recounts his cross country trip and his desire to take the more 'scenic route.' The husband, who's initially nervous and cautious, agrees to let him stay but not before he checks with his wife first. She immediately tells him no but when she catches a glimpse of him and is introduced to his charm, she relents and agrees to let him stay.
Over dinner, our traveling gentleman talks about his profession as a surgeon. When the topic of family is brought up, he tells the family the terrible story of how his wife and kids were murdered. Changing the subject of conversation towards the antisocial daughter, he immediately displays a fondness for her. Mom and dad send her off so they could talk about more adult things and our ivory dressed man glares at her as she walks away. When adult talk time is up, he makes his way upstairs and stops by the girl's bedroom. After a bit of a chat, mom comes into her room and finds that she's hiding a live bird she captured outside. We are informed that she's been given strict instructions to never keep live animals in the house. Defiantly, she snaps the bird's neck and hands the lifeless body over to mom. Mom locks her in her room and apologizes to our house guest.
After showing him to his room, he sets down his things and then joins her for a tour of the house. She takes him into the attic which serves as her sanctuary and space to practice arts and crafts. They chat for a bit but we know at this point that our house guest has anything but good intentions. He proceeds to bludgeon her with one of her pieces and heads downstairs to also incapacitate dad. When they both come to, they find themselves hooked up to a crude dialysis machine, their blood being pumped into plastic jugs. But why is he doing what he's doing? You see, there is something really wrong with the daughter and he's there to encourage her to embrace her true self. What is it exactly? I won't spoil it but the dark secret of our family is revealed and through some heinous acts, the true monster that is this well mannered, polite man is also brought to light.
Disturbing, brutal and wholly original, The Bleeding House will leave you breathless. The film originally came out in 2010 but saw a larger premiere at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. It is now on various VOD services including Vudu, Amazon and iTunes. I promise you, you will not find a better genre film this year. The pairing of an incredible first time outing by director Philip Gelatt and the phenomenal performance of Patrick Breen (who plays our traveling white clad surgeon), makes the film the terrifying masterpiece that it is.
For more information, check out the film's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bleeding-House/131601586880397
And for the uber lazy, here are the links to the spots where you can rent the film:
Amazon Instant Video: http://www.amazon.com/Bleeding-House-2011-Festival-Premiere/dp/B004WOZ1MC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304387117&sr=8-1
Cortez the Killer