Bloodthirsty is a tepid indie flick that never quite sinks its teeth into the werewolf mythology. Instead, the film completely squanders what little atmosphere it builds for itself early on. Between some questionable musical renditions, weak characterization and unnecessarily artsy camera work, Bloodthirsty slips up where it matters most – the writing.
In its simplest form, the story here combines elements of Dracula and 2016’s cult-hit Raw with a conventional plot about recording an album. The result is a tonally discordant picture that throws in some unsettling Gothic horror alongside a studio session reciting pop records. While the lyrics are at least relatable, this odd combination of styles is less pineapple on pizza and more like chocolate on tuna.
At the center of this mish-mash of ideas is Grey, an Indie singer on the verge of recording her second album. She’s also experiencing strange visions of herself as a wolf. Popping pills to suppress these strange hallucinations, Grey shrugs off her therapy sessions to focus on her career.
This certainly takes a promising turn when Grey receives an invitation to work with notorious music producer Vaughn Daniels. Despite a shady past, the opportunity to work with such a prolific guy is too much for Grey to pass up.
Accompanied by her girlfriend Charlie, Grey sets off for Vaughn’s estate; a remote refuge out in the middle of the woods. It’s your typical horror movie set-up but the film never capitalizes on this in a compelling way. Instead, Bloodthirsty slams on the brakes to deliver a more carefully constructed story about this girl and her darkest desires.
As Grey starts to find herself more and more enamoured with Vaughn, a big rift starts to grow in her relationship with Charlie. It’s not until the hour mark of this 85 minute picture that Bloodthirsty starts to step on the gas and actually follow through with its teased ideas.
In fact, given the obvious cues toward Dracula (the awkward dinner scene in particular), Bloodthirsty’s werewolf twist feels like it’s the wrong monster altogether. One can’t help but feel this movie should have been a vampire story – and leaned much harder into its horror in the process.
Instead, the film teases this big reveal for far too long, dipping its toes into psychologically charged territory without ever fully embracing it. By the time it actually does settle on a tone and idea, Bloodthirsty collapses into itself with a silly 15 minute bloodbath that feels at odds with the cerebrally charged thriller this is supposed to be.
Credit where credit’s due though, and Bloodthirsty does have a few thought provoking ideas at work here. Some of the reveals are nicely handled and the film at least keeps you attention to want to find out how this one ends.
As an indie picture, Bloodthirsty’s production design and special effects can be forgiven. What can’t be forgiven is the writing, blending a mishmash of ideas that just don’t work well together. It’s a shame too because there’s definitely something here but the few glimmers of hope are drowned out by disappointing mundanity.
Looking for more Bloodthirsty content? Check out our Ending Explained article for a more in-depth breakdown of this movie! You can find that HERE!