REVIEW: Bloodthirsty (2020)

dir. Amelia Moses

Grey (Lauren Beatty) is a pop musician struggling to find her voice after the smash success of her first album. When reclusive record producer Vaughn (Greg Bryk) expresses interest in recording her sophomore outing she and her girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So) venture to stay in his isolated, snow-capped home to immerse themselves in the process.

But simmering under Grey’s quiet dedication to her craft is an inexplicable hunger, hallucinations of claws and canine teeth haunting her dreams and bleeding into her waking life. As she becomes more entangled with Vaughn it becomes clear that he’s harbouring his own secrets, and Charlie finds herself trapped in the middle of something beyond her understanding.

Central to Bloodthirsty is the beast of the creative process personified: the deeper Grey digs to write her music, the darker and more free her world becomes. Her transformation inspires confidence, giving way to temptation and opening up doors for insidious levels of ambition and abandon.

As Grey, Beatty dazzles, whilst Bryk is downright creepy as Vaughn, their lead performances carrying the film, electrifying every scene with their strange chemistry. Meanwhile the sound mix and foley artistry lends an unnerving edge, and when Grey imagines her basest animal urges the rending of flesh and slurping of blood is stomach-churning.

The soundtrack might be what is most memorable to audiences, with pop originals written and performed by artist and co-writer Lowell. If the atmospheric, lyrical songs were produced as an album independently, they would likely do well; the haunting voice and intensely personal lyrics reminiscent of artists like TORRES, Lorde and Mitski.

Taken together this medley of music, murder and mayhem combines to make Bloodthirsty a sensual feast that hits all the right notes.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mae Murray

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