Movie Review: Bleed (2016)

Synopsis: Celebrating both their new home and her pregnancy, Matt and Sarah invite their friends to stay with them. When Sarah's twin brother, Eric, shows up unexpectedly, it creates tension between her and Matt, especially when the perpetually unemployed Eric once again asks her for money. When Eric talks about ghosts and recounts a story about him and Sarah interacting with one when they were kids, Matt is skeptical and, along with their friends, agrees to go on a ghost-hunt in a nearby burned-out prison that once housed a cannibal.

Who's in it? The movie stars Chelsey Crisp, Riley Smith, Michael Steger, Lyndon Smith, Elimu Nelson and Raj Kala.

Review: My wife and I came across this film a couple nights ago and, even though we ultimately decided to watch it, it was with some reluctance. The description made it sound interesting but we've been burned by low-budget horror movies before and had our doubts. And, as it turns out, those doubts were not unfounded.

I think this movie's biggest flaw is it attempts to do too much. While I normally try to give movies credit for attempting to be different than other films, the film still needs to make sense. And, in this case, I found I was really confused about what was going on.

Without trying to reveal too many spoilers, the movie starts with a little girl (Izzy Watts) who says she can talk to angels and ends with someone giving their life so a baby can live. I know there's some sort of connection between the two and it involves the cult-like neighbors and an accused cannibal (Kala) but I was left pretty darn confused about what that connection was supposed to be (and what the whole cult thing was about).

The scenes in the prison, while a bit predictable, were somewhat entertaining and, at minimum, provided a few cheap scares. However, that part really felt as though it should have been a completely different movie because, while the writers did their best to give a plausible connection between the haunted prison and what I mentioned above, it did seem kind of forced. It's almost as though they decided to make a movie about a haunted prison and threw in the rest of it as a time filler. Even if that wasn't really the case, the overall movie just felt like it was lacking focus.

Another thing I found I didn't like about this film is the main characters felt a bit flat. Sarah (Crisp) had a little bit of a backstory but the only thing we really knew about her husband (Steger) is he is a doctor. Her brother, Eric (Smith) seemed like he had more to him than the movie took the time to reveal (was his ghost experience the reason why he couldn't hold a job?) while the rest of their group really didn't add too much to the film at all. As a result of this blandness, it was really hard to care whether any of them lived or died and, as I've said before, horror movies just aren't that scary if you can't relate to the victims.

Final Opinion: Even though, once again, I do try to applaud creativity when I see it, I do think this movie would have been considerably better if the filmmakers would have just kept things simple, made the haunted prison the main story and use the extra film time to make the main characters seem at least somewhat human.

My Grade: D


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