Bleed full movie review - Half-baked, but OK for an evening, Bleed's exactly what you expect it is.
Shot on a $550,000 budget, this film is exactly what you expect it to be - a fun watch if you're not doing anything else, a slightly amateurish (though well-shot) romp through a brutally predictable story.
Let's start with the good stuff. The cinematography is good, sound's good, and the music's effective. The acting is fine. Nothing to write home about, but given the dialogue, these folks are doing a decent job - particularly Brittany Ishibashi, who comes off like practically a real person.
There are two big issues with this film. The first one is that the protagonists, overbearing hipster physician Matt (Michael Steger) and pregnant wife-who-makes-other-pregnant-ladies-look-bad-at-Zumba Sarah (Chelsey Crisp) are thoroughly, immediately dislikable. They're uptight, judgmental, irascible, self-absorbed, and there's something about the expression of permanent sympathetic condescension on Sarah's face that makes you want to leave, immediately, and go to the house down the street, or next door, or visit any other couple in town. I cannot fathom why writer/director Tripp Rhame wanted us to spend time with these people - if it was about writing believable characters, then yes they're believable, but at what cost, comrade? They're like all the worst parts of Portlandia characters with none of the humor.
These two charmers are joined by jingly-necklaced Stoner Sterotype Eric and his sort-of-pagan-ish girlfriend Skye. I know this will shock you all, but Eric and Skye are into ghost hunting! What a coinkydink. Also along for the ride are a well-adjusted racially-diverse couple who you immediately know are going to be slaughtered for their minority-ness, bland niceness, and overall lack of plotting necessity.
The film's bigger failure - the one that stops it being a truly worthwhile watch - lies in its writing. The cast - and plot - is a parade of clichés so recognizable you could practically order them on Amazon. Chucklehead stoner (played with hammy gusto by Riley Smith) who leads everyone into danger with his tomfoolery, check. Some book thing splattered and scrawled-on with black and red ink by Art Department - which gets read out loud by Cheech Marrin as we hear the obligatory breathing-out sound and get the first-person ghost's-eye rushing-through- the-spooky-location shot - yup. Endless flashlight-and-shaky-cam crud in the woods - mais oui.
Hell, if it's not broke, you don't fix it, even if it's been done so many times your dog could probably write the dialogue for it ("Did you hear that?" "Hear what?" "Let's get out of here.")
The writer/director of this film seems to be assuming we'll automatically side with the buttoned-up, beyond-boring yuppie couple. Fifteen minutes in, I'm already rooting for whatever inbred Church-of-Hick-Satan budget Jesus lookalike is going to put us all out of their misery.