Bloodthirsty Movie Review

Written by Shane D. Keene

Released by Brainstorm Media

bloodthirsty poster large

Directed by Amelia Moses
Written by Wendy Hill-Tout, Lowell
2020, 84 minutes, NR

Lauren Beatty as Grey
Greg Bryk as Vaughn
Katharine King So as Charlie

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When it comes to classic horror creatures such as vampires, mummies, zombies, etc., it would be a lie to call myself an authority or even knowledgeable on the majority of them. But there is one that I’m petty fond of and goddamn well-versed in. The werewolf. I love them, and because of that, I’ve devoured every single book and movie I’ve been able to find for about 45 years now. So if I’m telling you (I am) that a shapeshifter film I loved is different than the usual fare, it is. Vastly so. Such is the case with Bloodthirsty. In many different ways it is, but there are a few things that really stand out and make it fly off the screen and into your memory banks.

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Grey, the main role portrayed by Lauren Beatty, is a young indie singer troubled by dreams that she’s a wolf. After accepting an invitation from a notorious music producer, played marvelously by Greg Bryk, she and girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So), go to stay with him while writing some new music. While there, Grey begins to discover troubling things about herself and her past. That’s basically a synopsis of the synopsis, but all you’re getting from me. The uniqueness of this, and the richness of the experience, could be destroyed by a minor slip of information and a lot of the enjoyment comes from the surprises along the way. Suffice it to say, this effectively minimal cast of characters sync surprisingly well and all play their roles to perfection.

That minimal cast is just the tip of a Titanic iceberg of original features to Bloodthirsty. The next, most important one being that it’s almost entirely driven by women. Helmed by Amelia Moses and written by Wendy Hill-Tout and Lowell, the only prominent male in the whole production is Greg Bryk as the music producer Vaughn. And this predominantly female group of creatives shows us how it’s done in stellar form. The writing is top-notch, character and atmosphere-centric storytelling serve to shore up the overarching themes, giving this a depth of thought and speculation generally not even considered in films like this. It’s a bloody romp through the darkness, sure, but that aspect is incidental to the director/writers' vision, which is clearly to write a meaningful, intelligent, character-driven story.

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It’s what a near-perfectly realized vision looks like. Moses and co. have taken a tired trope, albeit a well-loved one, and freshened it up. Beyond that, even, they’ve made it new, something all their own and more worth the watch than any werewolf flick I’ve seen since King’s Silver Bullet. If you took Stephen Graham Jones’ Mongrels, stripped the humor from it and injected it with violence, you wouldn’t get this, but you’d get something very much like it. It’s a damn good one, folks. I recommend you don’t waste any time getting your eyeballs on this one.

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Movie: 4.5 Star Rating Cover

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Shane D. Keene
Staff Reviewer
Shane Douglas Keene is a reviewer, columnist, and poet living in Portland, Oregon. He spends his spare time drinking scotch and/or beer, playing guitar, and thinking of ways to scare small children and puppies. He pays meticulous attention to beard maintenance, mostly because it freaks people out, and he writes about dark fiction and poetry in various places, including his blog at Shotgun Logic.
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