“Bloodthirsty” opens with a young woman named Grey (Lauren Beatty) recounting a very realistic nightmare to her psychiatrist. Grey has been having visions that she’s some sort of killer creature, and her bloody, disturbing dreams are putting a ton of stress on her indie music career. Her doctor listens intently, but then assures her that it’s all in her head and dismissively throws more prescription medication at her. And with that, co-writers Wendy Hill-Tout and Lowell establish a female empowerment theme that continues through this gruesome fantasy film.
Seeking help with her new album after a case of writer’s block, Grey teams up with an unusual producer named Vaughn (Greg Bryk) at his secluded cabin in the woods. She and her girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So) travel for an extended stay, but her partner begins to have second thoughts after getting major creep vibes from the mysterious stranger. Vaughn, who was tried for murder in the past, is sinister and controlling, feeding Grey’s most primal nature and encouraging her to let go of her beastly side. Turns out he means this in the most literal sense.
The film, directed by Amelia Moses, continues the welcome trend of women telling stories about women, especially when it comes to female-centric horror. There’s a solid, simple story and a soundtrack filled with haunting original songs (by Lowell) that make it memorable. Bryk and Beatty are effective as two creators-turned-destroyers battling their inner demons, and the film is a metaphor for the cutthroat nature of the music industry where artists must decide if they want to become the predator or the prey. It’s a low budget movie with substantial ideas, and it pays homage to (or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say that it rips off) films like “Raw” and “Run Sweetheart Run.”
“Bloodthirsty” is a small-scale thriller with meaning, even if one of the major morals of the story is that if you’re a vegan, don’t you dare take one bite of meat…EVER.