When it comes to horror, there’s no denying the sub-genre of the slow-burn is in full revival. Contrary to the tired garden variety of providing jumpscares throughout most of the runtime so you don’t know when it’s a monster and when it’s that darn cat again, the slow-burn gives you tiny morsels to engage your imagination. When it’s done right, the reveal should change your perspective of the entire film, explaining those little unnerving details that made you wonder if they were going to be relevant or not.

(Source: Fantasia Film Festival)

Bleed With Me was written and directed by Amelia Moises. Rowan (Lee Marshall, who also is credited as a producer) is an introverted new employee that has accepted an invitation from the lovely Emily (Lauren Beatty) for a country getaway with her and Brendan (Aris Tyros). Rowan can’t help but feel like the awkward third wheel. As they settle into the cozy winter cabin, Rowan starts feeling increasingly paranoid as Emily’s invitation appears to have some ulterior motives.

When a director is very subtle with their movie language on a horror film, it makes me want to play close attention. Subtleties on a film that has the category of horror but plays with the cards close to the chest, are rare. The movie’s color palette is actually calm and inviting. The cabin is cozy, the look and feel is colorful but with a lazy and foggy view that almost entices you to fall asleep. With the entire filmography inviting slumber, it just makes most viewers know that something might be inferred by blurry images as our protagonist drifts off into dreamland.

The movie hinges on Lee Marshall’s portrayal of Rowan, who’s a little more than just vulnerable. However it’s Lauren Beatty playing the enigmatic Emily who gets to play with ambiguous looks that both express a good friend’s concern and something more sinister under the surface. That being said, the ending can be perceived as lacking some delivery power as the conclusion leaves some explanations open-ended. This leaves us to put the pieces together, which I can appreciate but it might divide some audiences.

Recommended with some light reservations. Audiences expecting some brutal and shocking reveal might feel cheated. Slow-burn fanatics should be pleased as long as they didn’t entertain any supernatural theatrics. Driven by strong performances and centering more on dangerous co-dependencies this film is more about psychological ramifications of the characters than actual shock. The payback at the end is a bit of a mixed bag as its left to the audience to piece together. The conclusion is there, but the explanation might leave some moviegoers feeling cheated. Your experience might vary.

That will do for now.