The Bleeding House DVD Review
Written and directed by Philip Gelatt
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 86 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 25th August 2013
Alexandra Chando as Gloria
Nina Lisandrello as Lynne
Patrick Breen as Nick
Charlie Hewson as Quentin
Richard Bekins as Matt
Betsy Aidem as Marilyn
Viewers looking for a house which that literally drips blood will be disappointed by the relatively goreless Bleeding House, which is instead a quiet psychodrama about talkative psychopaths, big houses and family secrets. Sorry about that. But, looking on the bright side, Philip Gelatt’s creepy little home invasion piece is far better than its synopsis and identikit DVD cover would suggest.
There’s a whole host of horror films out there at the moment, running around with heavily photoshopped and very similar-looking pictures of houses, mansions and lodges on the front cover; inevitably rubbish, and holding a rape-heavy low-budget piece of trash within (101 Films, I’m looking at you). While it’s usually a good guide as to what films you should probably avoid, it does tend to mean that minor gems like The Bleeding House can get caught up with chaff such as The Lodge, The Wrong House and other such avoidables.
So now that we know what The Bleeding House isn’t, what, you ask, is it? Late one night, a mysterious stranger descends upon a (bleeding) house inhabited by a bickering family and the dark secrets they keep there. Using his silver tongue to talk his way into the house, it’s not long before he’s murdered one of their number, sent another on the run and trussed up the rest for later torturin’. With his smooth Southern accent, loquacious demeanour and unassuming appearance, Patrick Breen’s Nick is reminiscent of Tom Hanks in the unappreciated Coen Brothers’ Ladykillers remake (Forrest Gump be damned, tied with the Irish gangster of Cloud Atlas as the best thing Tom Hanks has ever done). He could be more menacing and more physically imposing, but he’s still a cut above the usual procession of thuggish rapists and smug metrosexuals (Funny Games) who tend to populate this sort of thing. Breen does a great job playing the psychopath, and his victims aren’t too shabby either. A lack of blood and gore makes it a difficult piece to recommend to those who like their horror to be a little on the grislier side (there’s barely anything to see here) but everyone else should enjoy the claustrophobic visuals, subtle torture sequences and tense sense of back-and-forth between Nick and his captives.
The Bleeding House isn’t especially memorable and it certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does its thing well, and it does it with style and panache, all the time brewing an enjoyably creepy atmosphere as it goes. It’s not bloody great, but nor is it bleeding awful either.
Video and Audio:
It looks and sounds cheap, and several scenes are a little too dark, but it remains perfectly watchable throughout.
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