A young woman is invited on a wintery cabin getaway with her friend and the friend’s boyfriend. With each passing day, the woman becomes more convinced her friend is stealing her blood in the night. Isolated and paranoid, things quickly begin to spiral out of control.
Writer and director Amelia Moses (Bloodthirsty) brings Bleed With Me to Fantasia International Film Festival audiences. The film primarily focuses on shy and reserved Rowan. She is invited to stay at a cabin with her coworker, Emily, and Emily’s boyfriend, Brendan. Things at the cabin are a bit awkward at first, especially since Brendan would prefer if Rowan hadn’t joined the couple, but alcohol helps relax the group. The initial tensions gradually escalate as strain becomes more apparent between Emily and Brendan and the trio is relatively stuck with each other in the remote, snowy cabin. Yet what truly brings the suspense to a fever pitch is Rowan becoming convinced Emily is stealing her blood.
It’s the kind of plot where the audience is constantly trying to determine whether or not Rowan is right or if she’s losing her mind. What makes it more confusing is that Rowan is established very early on as an unreliable source with mental health issues, but there is just enough doubt cast that she could be right. Moses expertly keeps the audience second guessing what they see on screen right up until the credits roll. There are definitely unanswered questions by the time the film ends that might be off-putting to some, but it fits with the tone of the mysterious plot.
The entire cast of Bleed With Me consists of three actors and all three of them are captivating to watch. Lee Marshall (Artifacts of Idealism, Turkey Drop) stars as Rowan. Marshall does a great job of making Rowan seem like a sweet, shy girl at first. As the paranoia builds, it becomes clearer that Rowan has many secrets and might not be exactly who she says she is. Lauren Beatty (Bloodthirsty, Pay the Ghost) plays Rowan’s coworker and new friend, Emily. At first, Emily seems like the polar opposite of Rowan. She’s confident, independent, and outspoken. Yet Beatty shows that Emily too has many secrets and gives the character a bit of a sinister edge. Aris Tyros (Slaxx, Little Death) plays Emily’s boyfriend, Brendan. Tyros makes Brendan such an endearing character who is kind, and supportive, and he balances out the opposing personalities of the two women. All three actors have great chemistry, but the chemistry between Marshall and Beatty is especially electric and intriguing to watch.
While the plot of Bleed With Me alone delivers quite of bit of anxiety, the setting also helps to create a suspenseful feeling. In normal circumstances, the cabin where Rowan, Emily, and Brendan stay would feel relatively spacious. Yet it ends up feeling more and more claustrophobic. Part of that is due to the snow outside, increasing that sense of isolation and part is due to the tension between the three characters. This tension fills so much of the space in the cabin that it appears to shrink. With each passing moment the walls close in and exacerbate the stress felt by all inside the cabin.
Bleed With Me drips with tension as it keeps the audience guessing who the true villain of the film is. Moses is incredibly adept at hiding the truth at every twist and turn of the plot. The suspense she creates with her writing is compounded by the remote cabin setting. All three actors deliver strong, dynamic performances with many layers and help draw the audience in. After watching the suspenseful film that is Bleed With Me, horror fans are going to want to keep an eye on what Moses does next.
OVERALL RATING: 8/10