Bloodthirsty (2021)

Amelia Moses

Running Time: 84 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Lauren Beatty, Greg Bryk, Katharine King So, Judith Buchan, Michael Ironside

Overwhelmed by the pressures of fame, singer Grey (Lauren Beatty) moves to a remote location to record her next album. Under the tutelage of notorious music producer Vaughn (Greg Bryk), the musician's pushed to the limits for her art while having visions she's a wolf. Screenwriters Wendy Hill-Tout and Lowell have crafted a tale which brings to mind Raw-meets-Whiplash, as a musician pushed beyond their limits deals with carnivorous urges. The result doesn't reach the heights one wishes from those benchmarks, yet the result remains interesting in its own right.

Relying on medication to control her hallucinations and the help of a therapist (Michael Ironside), Grey finds herself swamped while trying to persist with her musical career. Her rock is Charlie (Katharine King So), the supportive partner that believes in her work, central to this believable relationship worth rooting for. Tensions arise over Charlie's wariness of Vaughn and his methods, as a push-and-pull occurs over Grey upon moving into the gothic house.

Where characters would inexplicably believe the antagonist, Grey's reasonings for trusting Vaughn are conveyed rather well. She sympathises with the lies the tabloids can print while being fearful of her second album flopping, factors which lead her to ignore the red flags regarding this former boyband member who was accused of murder. Vaughn also hides his creepiness in plain sign, passing off his teetering-on-the-edge as an eccentric music producer that's committed to his craft.

The most interesting elements involve the passionate artist pushed to their limits, leaving the monstrous beats to falter in comparison. The chilling attempts of director Amelia Moses cannot work around the clear budgetary limitations, nor how this film lacks a necessary creepiness. What's most baffling is the monotonous treatment of a major revelation, arriving too neatly only to pass by without much acknowledgement. It's elements like this which let down the feature, and leave it needing more bite.

Bloodthirsty is available on Digital Download and DVD now