Fantastic Fest’s ‘Bloodthirsty’ lacks personality, substantial horror elements

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of 775 Media Corp | Daily Texan Staff

“Bloodthirsty” was the festival closer for this year’s Fantastic Fest, but it’s definitely not a showstopper. 

“Bloodthirsty” follows indie singer Grey (Lauren Beatty) as she escapes to a remote cabin with her girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So) to write her second record with mysterious producer Vaughn. Already suffering from hallucinations, Grey’s time with Vaughn causes something primal to come out of her, leaving her to question her sanity while also trying to finish her anticipated album. 

The movie starts with a dream sequence, a hallmark of lazy horror movie writing. From there we’re introduced to Grey’s ‘glamorous’ life as a pop star, posing for photoshoots in silly wigs and being harassed by paparazzi. The movie depicts a 2000s-era pop music scene, which feels stale and cliché. Before we can learn much about Grey or her girlfriend, we are thrust into the world of music producer and mentor Vaughn, played by Greg Bryk, whose performance cannot revive the film’s bland writing.   

Lauren Beatty’s portrayal of an indie pop star is also lackluster. She has no charisma outside of the brief glimpses we get into Grey and Charlie’s relationship and the few times Grey hallucinates. It’s a shame that the movie didn’t at least try to mirror the unique personalities of the pop stars of today, such as Phoebe Bridgers or Billie Eilish. Instead, we get a bland performance from Beatty, and the rest of the cast follows suit.

 

What’s worse — the movie isn’t even scary. Billed as a “werewolf film,” there’s little gore or violence. Rather, we’re treated to a myriad of boring dream sequences and semi-creepy scenes between Grey and Vaughn with dialogue that feels like it was ripped straight out of a Stephenie Meyer book. The true horror of this movie is having to listen to Grey and Vaughn’s cliché dialogue about “unlocking your true potential” and realizing this movie has as much personality as a bad Top 40 pop song. 

The film has virtually nothing to offer. Its critiques of the indie pop scene are shallow at best, and the horror elements are yawn-inducing. The original music by artist Lowell is catchy, but it’s definitely not going to be on the top charts. The one saving grace of this film is the absence of poor jump scares.

The execution of this movie is lazy, the visual effects are subpar, and it’s just not scary. 
“Bloodthirsty” is just another small drop in the perpetually mundane werewolf genre.  

1 run over bunny out of 5