A mysterious stranger comes to stay the night at a secluded country home, but what he finds inside is a family torn apart by a violent past and a secret more deadly than he expected.
I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of our Cheap Thrills idea, watching low-budget films just wasn’t appealing to me all, even the ones which are so bad they are good. Though the argument from the others for reviewing bargain bin films was to find the diamonds in the rough!
The Bleeding House while not a diamond is still a little gem of a movie, I’m genuinely surprised at how much I liked this film. The opening shot and accompanying string piece of music grabbed my attention, the look of the film was far more accomplished than I was expecting; it really didn’t look and sound cheap. In fact the score impressed me, there are some really nice string pieces throughout the film. The cinematography is rather good with some well framed shots and some great use of lighting added to the atmosphere of the film.
The whole plot had me quite intrigued while it’s nothing particular new, it had enough little twists and turns to really keep my attention (I do tend to let my mind wander when watching poor films). A family in turmoil after events in the local town have left them as outcasts and now living in the woods (in a house of course, and not actually in the woods!). When a stranger turns up claiming to have car trouble, it’s quite obvious what this stranger is (well to me it was) and you get the impression things are not going to end well for this family. Patrick Breen (Nick) is that stranger and he’s really rather good. He’s not an intimidating figure, and there’s very little menace in his voice, he’s calm, well spoken, but there’s a dangerous glint in his eye. Breen drew me in with his performance as he draws in the family in the film; I really did like his character. Alexandra Chando (Gloria) gives a decent turn as a very troubled child, guarding secrets she’s keeping from her family; yet Nick senses there is a lot more to her than meets the eye. From here it all builds to a rather good climax and one I wasn’t fully expecting, though it worked very well.
Written and Directed by Philip Gelatt in his directional debut, this is a decent start to his directing career, nothing spectacular but nothing disastrous either. Though it’s not all perfect, a couple of dodgy script moments, some overzealous acting, some bad acting, but these are mainly from the peripheral actors and really didn’t spoil the film too much. A couple of strange edits every now and again, which made more sense later in the film. Yet aside these little faults, The Bleeding House turned out to be a decent watch and a film I’d actually sit down and watch again.
This one is a bit of a weird one, found in Poundland new for one shiny gold coin, but also in HMV for thirteen times the price! The name? Bleeding House, with a brick and wood building on the front cover that’s been tinted red. (Spooky and ominous, a tinted blood-red building!!)
The film centers around a dysfunctional and disjointed family – what underlying issues are causing the status quo is not fully revealed or explained until much later in the film. For the first 15-20 minutes we just watch the awkward and uncomfortable interactions between the 4 of them. The family, cut off from society seems almost on the edge of breaking point when a stranger in a white suit shows up at their door. The first 15 minutes or so are so disjointed due to the uneasy family situation, it’s only when the stranger appears that the film really starts to find its groove. It’s almost as if the first chunk of the movie is stalling for his arrival.
Nick – the stranger, played by Patrick Breen is a brilliant bit of casting. He is so offbeat and strange and it’s only towards the end of the film you will realise his true motives and why he is behaving the way he does. It’s not a huge reveal (like a Jeremy Kyle paternity test), or earth shattering, just a slow unravel. It’s only as the back-story and events surrounding the family are slowly revealed you begin to understand what is actually happening. For large parts of the film it can be confusing.
If I’m honest, the movie will live or die for you on the strength of Patrick Breen’s performance. His folksy deep southern drawl and eloquent vocabulary is a great misbalance of style, but probably will not be to everyone’s tastes. A maniac with a personality and delivery that is just so damn relaxing it puts you at ease. I will admit however that the eloquent and long chunks of script given to Breen (especially in the final scenes) began to grate on me towards the end of the film.
Alexandra Chando as Gloria/Blackbird the troubled daughter, for the most part is ok. For 90% of the movie, she has no lines, or very minimal ones. As a brooding/glaring daughter she works well. However in the climax of the film, it’s almost a different actress as she acts and delivers lines with an uncomfortable and clunky delivery.
The plot was somewhat obvious considering how the film developed, but I kind of liked the way it slowly expanded. It is a VERY slow burn of a movie, almost as slow as Breens delivery, so be warned if that is not your sort of thing.
Yes its low budget, yes they could of done with a few more pennies for some effects. But, for a pound and 90 minutes of your time? It’s not bad, it’s not incredible, but it’s not dire.