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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Review: Bloodthirsty

Director: Amelia Moses 

Screenplay: Wendy Hill-Tout and Lowell

Year: 2021

After the success of her first album, Grey wants to maintain that standard and finds a manager and producer willing to help her with her new album. Grey also fights against strange hallucinations where she sees herself turning into an animal. During the time she spends in the producer’s house working on her music, Grey starts discovering things about herself that lead her to a surprising revelation.

“Bloodthirsty” comes as the third movie of the year where we witness the transformation of a woman into a creature, the other two being “Ten Minutes To Midnight” and “Jakob’s Wife”, both about vampires. This movie does not use vampires, but rather another sort of creature more feral and counter to vampires. This time the transformation is into a wolf.

During the whole movie, the protagonist Grey (Lauren Beatty; “Jigsaw”) fights against her hallucinations and animalistic impulses that lead her to think that there is something wrong with herself. A vegan for most of her life, she suddenly feels attracted to raw meat, and her music starts reflecting her impulses. Her new producer Vaughn (Greg Byrk; “Rabid”), seems to understand what the young woman is going through and incites her to accept those impulses. Wendy Hill-Tout (“Marlene”) and Lowell’s script seem to establish a commentary on the music industry and how artists are treated, but the metaphor is not clear.

In every transformation movie, the final product is essential, particularly true in “Bloodthirsty”, where its director (“Bleed With Me”) brews the plot in a slow burn around this event, for which clues and hints are left about, but doesn’t happen until near the end. Unluckily, the creature’s design is disappointing and is not on the same level as the expectations generated or of what the movie had done so up until this point.

One of its positive aspects is the use of practical effects to achieve the transformation, assisted by minimal CGI reminiscent of classic werewolf movies that stood out because of the practical effects, such as “An American Werewolf In London” or “The Howling”, although it is unfair to compare it with those. Likewise, the sound department plays a crucial role in the development, considering that the plot revolves around a singer-songwriter. The music score fits just right, possibly because Lowell, one of the screenwriters, composed several of the songs that go in it. Also, the positive representation of a queer relationship between the protagonist and her girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So; “Transplant”) is worth mentioning, without it being the center of attention or a conflicting point in the plot.

“Bloodthirsty” goes into body horror and transformations, using as a medium the trajectory of an artist and the pressure that she feels to maintain her current success. It uses the werewolf mythos but gives it a unique twist, a disappointing creature, and several unexpected twists. The plot develops as a slow burn and depends wholly on the actors’ performance, who do a great job, and how the scenes are constructed around the excellent sound section.

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