In the horror vein
Canadian-made Bloodthirsty brings us a clever new spin on the old werewolf tale
Bloody and sleek, Bloodthirsty is a clever, pared-down take on the werewolf genre — and made in Canada to boot.
Lauren Beatty stars as Grey, an up-and-coming musician looking for a new manager.
She makes a connection with producer Vaughn Daniels (Greg Bryk), who invites her out to his secluded rural home, where they can make beautiful music together.
Grey's girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So) isn't as enthusiastic, especially when a quick Google search reveals that Vaughn was once tried for murder. Unconcerned, Grey counters that he was acquitted, and so off they go. Bryk gives a great, unsettling and intense performance that had me wondering whether the 48-year-old might some day morph into this country's next Stephen Mchattie. (Though I don't recommend anyone get so gaunt without a doctor's supervision.)
Vaughn explains how his wife died by her own hand, then creepily hands over her last, unfinished song, with the suggestion that Grey see what she can make of it. This between plying her with absinthe and trying to get her to give up her vegetarian lifestyle.
And we already know from an early scene that Grey is taking medication for some kind of issue that includes hallucinations and disturbing dreams.
It's worth pointing out that Bloodthirsty is a female-led horror, directed by Amelia Moses — she and Beatty also shot a similarly themed horror, Bleed With Me, currently on the festival circuit — and written by Wendy Hill-tout and singer-songwriter Lowell, who also created some of Grey's music.
But it doesn't wear its female sensibility on its sleeve. This is a straight-up horror any way you slice it (and any way it slices). You'd have to be a misanthrope not to appreciate these lycanthropes.