‘Bleed With Me’
Stream It on Shudder.
Rowan (Lee Marshall) is an odd girl who becomes an odd girl out when she takes a trip to a remote cabin in the woods with her friend Emily (Lauren Beatty) and Emily’s boyfriend, Brendan (Aris Tyros). On the first night, the three enjoy drinks and lighthearted conversation. But things quickly take an ominous turn as Rowan has waking nightmares that Emily is slicing into her arms and stealing her blood.
As Rowan’s suspicions about Emily start to escalate, Rowan questions who Emily is and why she invited her to the cabin in the first place. When she finds an old photo album and a hidden box, they offer only murky clues. It doesn’t help when Emily tells her: “Sometimes we do crazy things to find our friends.”
In her intense feature, the writer-director Amelia Moses lets stillness and bewitching atmospherics, not gore and gotchas, drive her slow-burn, deeply creepy study of codependency and female friendship. The mysteries steadily and ominously build over 80 hallucinatory minutes, unfolding like an intimate play, until a finale that’s strange, bloody and mesmerizing. Marshall gives a focused, emotionally fraught performance as a young woman plagued by uncertainty.
Stream it on Shudder.
The latest film from the writer-director Brandon Christensen (“Still/Born”) is a darkly comic indictment of social media that’s also an entertaining entry in the burgeoning home-sharing horror movie genre.
Claire (Sara Canning) and Teddy (Osric Chau) head out for a couple’s getaway at a gorgeous woodland mansion, where they plan to make content for their struggling travel vlog. Things get off to a rocky start when their door code doesn’t work. Out of the blue, their kooky hostess Rebecca (a manic Gracie Gillam) shows up to help, but her too-chipper demeanor gives Claire and Teddy the creeps.
As their host’s behavior becomes increasingly bizarre, Teddy and Claire think they’ll strike social media gold if they have the unhinged Rebecca appear in their videos. She agrees, but her surprise to help Teddy and Claire get more likes and subscribers comes with a ghastly twist.
Good luck not being weirded out by a short scene in which a shadowy figure with glowing eyes offers Teddy an ominous greeting.
‘Death Drop Gorgeous’
Rent or buy on Amazon Prime.
I’m a sucker for low-budget regional gay filmmaking, the kind that looks like the whole town showed up as extras in the big dance party finale.
So I’m very forgiving of this horror comedy about a masked killer who roams Providence, R.I., and slaughters gay men to drain their blood. The directors Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe and Brandon Perras-Sanchez show so much love — for the horror genre, for the Providence drag scene, for gay elders — that I feel bad calling out the stiff acting and unevenly funny script.
But they scored big time with Michael McAdam, a fixture in the Providence drag scene who performs as Payton St. James. McAdam walks off with the movie as the old-school drag queen Gloria Hole, a messy marriage of Milton Berle and Ann-Margaret who has a smoker’s laugh, a closet of turbans and a tired musical repertoire. She also has a vicious smile, a cutting wit and sailor’s mouth like a drag queen possessed — maybe actually possessed. I ate it up.
This one is best experienced with your “RuPaul’s Drag Race” besties, some hard lemonade and cheesy bread, and gay good will.
‘Stay Out of the _______ Attic’
Stream it on Shudder.
There’s a good reason to stay out of that attic: Nazi experiments.
Albert (Ryan Francis), the owner of Second Chance Moving Company, learns this the hard way when Vern (Michael Flynn), an older man with a German accent, gives Albert and his crew members Imani (Morgan Alexandria) and Carlos (Bryce Fernelius) extra cash to speed up the move out of his creepy mansion.
Things take an alarming turn when Albert, a former skinhead, recognizes the crest on a German-made lock and Carlos discovers a letter signed by Josef Mengele. The movers, all ex-cons who could use the money, decide to hold their noses and get the job done fast.
But their plans are thwarted when they encounter a mute young woman (Brynne Hurlbutt) who is being held captive while gruesomely sewn to her deformed sister. The hidden girl’s name is Anne, and Vern isn’t just any Nazi.
Jerren Lauder directed this bold, grossout addition to the bizarre catalog of Nazi horror movies. Pitch-black humor courses through the film, which may turn off viewers uninitiated in the genre.
But others will get a kick out of the movie’s flesh-ripping gore, unusually frank talk about class and demented revenge narrative. When Imani, a young Black woman, pummels the film’s Nazi antagonist, it’s a beatdown you’ll cheer.
Stream it on Netflix.
A marksman hunts a group of men in the forest in this German survival-revenge thriller from the writer-director Thomas Sieben.
The film starts out as Roman (David Kross), his brother Albert (Hanno Koffler) and their three friends hike through the woods during Roman’s stag weekend. They figure hunters were responsible for a loud gunshot in the distance, until one of the friends, Vincent (Yung Ngo), discovers he’s been shot. The next bullet goes through their vehicle’s tire, forcing them to flee by foot from the unknown sharpshooter who’s targeting them from the woods.
When they come across a woman standing near a lake, they ask her for assistance. But the poor suckers don’t realize it’s not help she’s there for. It’s vengeance.
What this film lacks in originality and payoff it more than makes up for in steady suspense and a surprising, sympathetic foe. It ranks low on the Truly Terrifying scale, so consider this a proper pick for horror fans who prefer to walk the darker streets of Lifetime.
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