Starring Chelsey Crisp, Riley Smith, Michael Steger
Directed by Tripp Rhame
Instances such as the ones portrayed in director Tripp Rhame’s “backwoods town with evil history” film Bleed baffle my ever-shrinking gray matter, mainly due to the inane thought processes of supposedly fairly intelligent folks… ah well, at least it makes for interesting viewing, doesn’t it?
Our spotlight shines on young newlywed twosome Sarah (Crisp) and Matt (Steger), and their love for each other is only eclipsed by the hopes and dreams for the impending birth of their little one in the oven (so sweet I’m going to be sick). Anyway, their housewarming party is one that will surely be etched in history, and its framework is assisted by the guests that are attending this little soiree – we’ve got Sarah’s pal Bree (Brittany Ishibashi) and her new fella, Dave (Elimu Nelson), and the paranormal aficionados themselves, Sarah’s uber-douche brother, Eric (Smith), and his lady-friend, Skye (Lyndon Smith). The sit-down dinner is riddled with back-handed comments from Eric, and the tension that exists between him and Matt is palpable. When the offer to liven up the party by sniffing around a torched-out, supposedly haunted prison on the fringe of town is thrown out, it’s up to the audience to sit back and watch the carnage ensue.
Now, as alluded to in the beginning of this review, the thoughts and actions of this small group work as a back-brace for the film’s structure, but are these people this hard-up for some entertainment, especially the one with a small child percolating in her abdomen? Has anyone forgotten about the lost art of drinking to kill a chunk of time (although not for the mom-to-be) or possibly a friggin board game? Jeezus Christmas, you’re just asking for trouble here, and without spilling any more details, there are certain forces in this town that shouldn’t be messed with… and for good reason.
As the movie rolls along, we see more of these skewed thought patterns in glorious full display as well as the repercussions that are brought about as a direct result of putting them into motion. Unfortunately, with the setup and attempted knockout of the premise here, it all just comes off as a big swing and a miss – very few worthwhile scares and a payoff that just seemed to fall a bit flat. Otherwise, the acting of Crisp was a nice turn, and for all intents and purposes, Riley Smith absolutely KILLED IT as the braggadocios bro that everyone wants to bite it with extreme prejudice here – testament to a role well played.
Sad to say, however, that a couple of bright thespian-istic exhibitions couldn’t save this one from running dry rather quickly. Perhaps a clotting agent to slow this Bleed would have been in order.