Starring Lauren Beatty, Katharine King So, Greg Bryk, and Michael Ironside
Written by Wendy Hill-Tout and singer/songwriter Lowell
Directed by Amelia Moses
Unrated, but contains scenes of coarse language, sexual situations, and violence
Runtime: 85 minutes
Starting May 18, this film will be available through Video On Demand via iTunes, Bell, Rogers, Shaw, TELUS, CineplexStore and VimeoOnDemand.
If you thought pop music was a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog kind of business, well ... you’re probably right, but not in this way. The new Edmonton-made thriller Bloodthirsty takes you into dark new territory. It’s not exactly as crunchy as Ginger Snaps, but it does have some meat to it.
Indie singer Grey (Lauren Beatty) knows how to chart and keeps a squeaky clean image while she does it. She has a bad secret, however: her dreams have turned macabre and the psychiatric meds don’t work. She keeps having bloody horrible visions, ones that include her turning into a feral animal. For a vegan, it’s all pretty disconcerting, to say the least.
In the interests of furthering her career, she takes up the offer of music producer Vaughn Daniels (Greg Bryk) to stay at his countryside home to record an album in his studio. It’s an offer you can’t refuse when staying popular means staying hungry. Daniels is a challenging host with a troubled past who pushes her to dig deep for her music instead of just scratching the surface. You have to fight those inner demons along the way to making hit tunes, anyway.
Daniels turns out to be challenging for a few other reasons, too. If you want to be a star, you have to fight more than just yourself, after all.
As Grey, Lauren Beatty tackled the gory job with gusto by playing up the dichotomy of a pristine pop singer by day/carnivorous crazed beast by nightmare. Greg Bryk channeled his inner Tom Cruise as Lestat to great effect for his part and it’s always a thrill to see the great Michael Ironside even in a tidbit of a part as he has here with his turn as the psychiatrist Dr. Swan.
Bloodthirsty takes a long-overdue stab at pitching the bloodthirstiness of the music industry into monstrous territory. The analogy is great and the film is justifiably dark and serious in tone. All you young starlets be forewarned: reality might be more like this than you’d think. A marvelously impressive outing from rising talent Amelia Moses directing from the script by mother-daughter team of Wendy Hill-Tout and singer/songwriter Lowell, who also acted as composer.
That being said, I think the pacing really killed the radio star on this picture. It was a little too slow for this critic’s liking though some might say that I’m just out for blood.