Review: Pop singer fights off werewolf tendencies in 'Bloodthirsty'

Canadian horror offering has a moody atmosphere but never quite finds its footing

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic
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A young singer-songwriter has an appetite for more than just fame in "Bloodthirsty," a horror hodgepodge that shows its fangs but doesn't bite deep enough to leave a mark. 

Lauren Beatty is Grey, an emerging pop star who's starting work on her second album. She's also battling visions of turning into a werewolf, and being a cog in the music industry machine is probably more than enough to cause hallucinations of becoming a monster. She suppresses these fantasies by upping her pill intake. 

Lauren Beatty in "Bloodthirsty."

She is summoned to work with Vaughn (Greg Bryk), a former boy-bander whose career went dark after he was accused of murdering his musical protégé. Hmm. Are we sure Max Martin's not available instead? But Grey is intrigued and with her painter girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So) she heads off to Vaugh's remote recording compound to begin work. 

As the story unfolds, director Amelia Moses creates a tense, moody atmosphere reminiscent of Osgood Perkins' "The Blackcoat's Daughter." There are a few things holding "Bloodthirsty" back, however: Grey never operates or fills the room like a pop star of any magnitude, and Vaughn doesn't have the swagger of even an aging boy-band member. Even the residence where they're shacked up doesn't feel like a spacious home, it feels like a suburban house. 

"Bloodthirsty" does nail the music component, however. Co-writer Elizabeth "Lowell" Boland, a Canadian producer, songwriter and singer (her second album is called "Lone Wolf," ahem), crafts several Lorde-esque tracks that encapsulate the film's eerie, desolate mood. "Bloodthirsty" never becomes the savage music industry satire it could be. But its music leaves a lasting impression that is tough to wipe away.

'Bloodthirsty'

GRADE: C+

Rated R: Violence, gore, language

Running time: 84 minutes

Available On Demand

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

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