THE BLEEDING HOUSE DVD Review
A part of the Tribeca Film Festival, THE BLEEDING HOUSE was written and directed by Philip Gelatt. The story follows the Smith family; mother, father, son, and daughter that are ostracized from their community for reasons we do not yet know.
Through flashbacks and dialogue we learn that the daughter, Gloria (Alexandra Chando who’s performance is so flat a cardboard cutout could have stood in for her), is different. She has a dark spot – so dark in fact that knives are not allowed to be taken out of a locked drawer unless they are in use. Once dinner is sufficiently cut up, Marilyn (Gloria’s mother) will lock the knives back in their drawer for safe keeping.
The father, Matt, is a lawyer, however he hasn’t worked in a while. His firm will not hire him back on to any case because of the “incident” (which we learn about later). According to Matt, “small towns have long memories” and no one has forgotten about the crazy Smith family.
The Bleeding House delivers some horror great elements early on, but taper off the moment the villain actually appears in frame. The moment that we’re introduced to Gloria there is a sense of unease. There’s something off about this little girl, but we don’t know what it is yet. Marilyn is a complete basket case as well. The first bits of dialogue that are exchanged with Matt are tense; there’s an underlined meaning to her words, and it’s obvious that he’s tip-toeing around her wondering what to say next.
Add this to Quentin, the older brother, wanting nothing more than to get out of town (and his girlfriend encouraging it), there was huge potential for The Bleeding House to be full of tension and scares. However once Nick (Patrick Breen), the villain, is introduced the writing becomes sloppy, the actors become amateurs, and even the plot starts to fall apart. Nick takes it upon himself to “save” the family from their misdeeds; and takes a big interest in Gloria (who likes to go by “Blackbird” and it is never even attempted to be explained).
Breen is the only actor in The Bleeding House that seems to have any conviction as to what he’s actually reading from the script. There were portions of his speeches that made me cringe; Nick is one of those villains that are so convinced that what he is doing is right that it is downright creepy.
However, Breen’s performance cannot save The Bleeding House. What could have been a great thriller just turns into a piece of film that is neither original nor scary and leaves you with a sense of indifference for the characters.
The DVD comes with a few different extras: An alternate ending was part of these, and I have to say that I was pleased. The alternate ending is FAR better than the theatrical ending which I felt was a lazy way to end an already lazy movie.
There are a few deleted scenes as well; and when you watch these, you’ll understand why they were deleted. While I normally appreciate anything additional that filmmakers want to give me on my DVD, this was one time when I felt that the movie should just be allowed to END. No deleted scenes, please!
While I wasn’t a huge fan of The Bleeding House, I can understand why it would appeal to a different audience. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!
The DVD is now available to own on Amazon.
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