Now available on VOD
Directed by Philip Gellat
The Bleeding House opens by introducing the audience to an incredibly dysfunctional family with some very dark secrets.
A motorist stranded near the family’s isolated country house seeks shelter for the night and the family reluctantly agrees. Fans of the âhome invasionâ subgenre know that letting a mysterious stranger into your home may not be the smartest move and our family learns this the hard way as the smooth, polite Southern gentleman they’ve invited in is revealed to be a mass murderer with a fondness for, yes, slowly bleeding his victims to death and keeping their blood in jars as trophies.
As the family members go down one by one, the stage is set for a confrontation between the killer and the clan’s death-obsessed daughter. The film sounds creepy and suspenseful, doesn’t it?
The problem is, the end result is neither.
The damaged family at the core of the film isn’t compelling or even very interesting to begin with and that’s a death blow to a film like this. Once the stranded motorist shows up and knocks the mother unconscious during a tour of the home, you’re momentarily lulled into thinking things are going to get better with some genuine attempts at creating some real tension and suspense but your hopes are dashed once the killer restrains the parents and launches into long, dull speeches about what he does and why he does it.
On the acting front, Patrick Breen turns in the film’s best performance as Nick, the blood-obsessed killer. He does the best he can with the material he’s been given but as I watched his performance, it became very clear this was a role that literally cried out to be played by veteran character actors Brad Dourif or Robert Joy (Breen does bear a slight resemblance to Robert Joy, enhancing the connection).
This film was originally shot under the working title Country Road K, but unfortunately ended up with its current, achingly obvious title The Bleeding House. Was this motivated by fear of not being able to sell it as a horror film, or the fear that if a movie isn’t spelled out in the title, it’s going to be hard to sell at all? Either way, bad choice.