The most cliched place to set a horror film must be a secluded cabin in the woods, but this is not one for the top 10 list of great secluded cabin films. Bleed with Me is more psychological than horror; focusing on anxiety, self-esteem, and self-destructiveness, and even then, it struggles to be interesting.
Bleed with Me involves a girl called Rowan (Lee Marshall) who travels to an isolated cabin in the woods for a winter getaway with her friend Emily (Lauren Beatty), and Emily’s boyfriend Brendan (Aris Tyros). Rowan – who has some proper psychological issues – becomes convinced that her friend is stealing her blood in her sleep. Not exactly ideal when you’re trying to relax for the weekend.
This Canadian film, directed by Amelia Moses in her feature film debut, was made on a shoestring budget and you can tell, the use of camera tricks to try and set a certain kind of atmosphere were there to be seen, included to try and elevate it as much as possible without any success, it is most definitely a film you will forget very easily, which is a shame. It didn’t really have any redeeming qualities, it tried so hard to be something it was never going to be.
Bleed with Me begins with the trio travelling to a log cabin in the middle of the woods, Rowan suffers severely from anxiety, self-esteem issues, and some underlying psychological pain. One night Rowan – who now feels like a bit of a third wheel on this trip – has too much to drink one night and goes to bed, where she experiences some very vivid dreams and wakes up in a cold sweat with cuts on her arm. As the cuts and the dreams keep appearing over the next couple of days, and with Rowan feeling increasingly unwell, she suspects her friend is drugging her and stealing her blood at night. Is her friend a vampire, or is Rowan just so full of anxiety that she is imagining the whole thing?
The heavy breathing throughout is classic for anxiety representation, just to clarify once again that this is supposed to be a psychological piece, which really couldn’t be further from the truth. The acting was questionable as well, especially from the mousy main character and all her “subtle” mannerisms.
It was a film that was built up by suspense and then didn’t deliver anything alarming; it was very bland and tried to be something other than a beige horror film. The psychological aspect didn’t hit the required note, it felt like it was on a loop and kept regurgitating the same hazed dream repeatedly. The most annoying thing was that there was no real explanation as to why everything happened, I was still wondering why afterwards – although not too long afterwards because I was past caring. You could have gone away, made yourself a nice cup of tea (or several) come back, and you wouldn’t have missed anything of great value, which is disappointing to say the least.
Bleed with Me is available to watch on Shudder now.