The Bleeding House aka The Bleeding
US 2011, 83m, Reno/Safehouse/Cinergy
DVD: Safecracker Pictures (UK)
A troubled family are visited by man who claims to be stranded after his car broke down near their isolated house. However, his arrival is no accident. He believes a higher power has sent him to punish an incident in their past. The question is: what is the crime, who is responsible and what exactly is the punishment?
The Bleeding House is an interesting variation on the "stranger arrives at the door, ingratiates himself into the unsuspecting family's home" theme. The added ingredient is that one of the inhabitants of the house may also be a trifle unbalanced, and there is an intriguing ambivalence about exactly who, if anyone should be taking the moral high ground in this situation.
There isn't a great deal in the shock/surprise department as things proceed, but in this case that works in the film's favour. There is a certain inevitability about the events that unfold, building a strong sense of dread, and the cast are all effective with what they have to do in the claustrophobic atmosphere. There is also some cringe-making stuff for anyone who (like myself) has a phobia about needles...
This is the directorial debut of Philip Gellatt, who also wrote the screenplay. He makes the most of bringing out uneasy undercurrents and creating a foreboding atmosphere from the seemingly banal establishing set-up. I'll be interested to see what he comes up with next.
Made in 2011, but only securing a UK release in August 2013, The Bleeding House is another delight released by Safecracker Pictures, who have been putting out some of the more interesting independent horror flicks as of late (not least the retro-styled slasher The Sleeper). This is a worthy addition to their catalogue.