If this wasn’t so focused on showcasing the musical aspects of a tortured singer/songwriter working on her craft Bloodthirsty could have actually been an interesting tale of a growing beast within. Instead, it winds up feeling closer to a fairly dull making-of for a musician’s next album which somehow manages to do nothing special with its premise or the handful of characters it has to work with.
Grey (Lauren Beatty) is an up-and-coming singer working on her second album who’s been having vivid dreams of animalistic hunting and killing she’s not sure how to process. Her girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So) advises to just keep taking the meds prescribed by Dr. Swan (Michael Ironside), but Grey has difficulty keeping her bloodthirsty urges at bay–something she’s not used to as a vegan. When elusive & mysterious music producer Vaughn Daniels (Greg Bryk) offers Grey the chance to come stay with him at his sprawling estate in the snowy woods while they work on her next album she can’t help but accept, even after Charlie points out Vaughn’s troubling past. Grey and Charlie try to make the most of their time at Vaughn’s secluded home, but that proves quite challenging as things become increasingly strange with each passing day…
Bloodthirsty mistakes quiet meandering around an *obvious* weirdo’s house and lots of solemn staring (staring at each other, staring in a mirror, staring out a window, staring at nothing, staring at food, and more!) as innately suspenseful when, after a certain point, it’s just boring and silly–nothing fascinates me about joyless and overtly dubious people working on an album interspersed with standard displays of creepy dreams/visions teasing inevitable third act developments. If none of the protagonists have working brains and only ever make the dumbest decision possible for every given scenario because otherwise there’d be no movie I find it damn near impossible to get invested in whatever’s happening beyond laughing at the nonsense.
It doesn’t help that Vaughn immediately presents himself as clearly up to no good with every fiber of his being, from laughably ominous dialogue to smelling Grey’s hair to being aggressive with Charlie and so much more–he has a monologue about a tragic incident early on where he stops *just* short of literally waving a red flag in Grey & Charlie’s faces that’s ultimately brushed off as “eccentric.” Vaughn may as well twirl a mustache while he’s at it, since evidently the sky’s the limit on freakish behavior as long as he’s not actively tying someone to train tracks.
Bloodthirsty is another in the long-line of films with solid direction, sound editing, cinematography, and other technical aspects that suggest the filmmakers know *how* to make a movie but for some reason the script & characters get lost in the shuffle somewhere. Lauren Beatty & Katharine King So do fine with what’s asked of them, but again I’ll say the ho-hum script ties their hands behind their backs a little with idiotic characters. Greg Bryk doesn’t fare as well, though his character doesn’t exactly give him much to do aside from be morose and mysterious.
If you’re more interested in seeing a struggling artist work on her music amidst a fairly nice home in the snowy woods than any of the genre thrills the title or setup suggests I’m sure you’ll have a better time with Bloodthirsty than I did.
4 out of 10 Mustache Twirlers