Dir. Amelia Moses
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Musician Grey (Lauren Beatty) struggling with her second album finds a producer, Vaughn Daniels (Greg Bryk) who will support her music only to learn behind his chequored past, he has a sinister side that will bring her new life. Despite her girlfriend's (Katharine King So) best wishes, she pursues her career but the more she puts into her work, the further her inner self rises to the surface. Unlike most singers today, her inner self happens to be a werewolf.
Within the first thirty minutes, there's a deep and meaningful stage for a popstar wanting not to fail and also balance a steady relationship. At that point the shift changes and suddenly the film turns from bittersweet teen drama to full blown horror. The volatile relationship between Grey and Daniels questions who is who and becomes a psychologically twisted play for survival, not of physical nature, but of the mentality of each character. Daniels feels like the strong playmaker early on but as Grey discovers her real nature, the tables get turned.
Michelle Osis' powerful score really holds together the film. While the action is slow to unfold, each scene perfectly ramps up the terror and on screen things may look a little normal but the echoes of Osis' music tell a different story, the accentuate the fear in Daniels tones, the sadness of a relationship breaking down and the true horror of a realisation at Grey's evolution.
Beatty's presence is always mesmerising and believable, it's difficult to portray a musician without a solid soundtrack but she balances Lowell's solid bag of tunes with genuine raptures attention which could possibly even put this into the musical genre without any farce. RAW meets VOX LUX in a hauntingly beautiful transformation of innocence to predator, all within ninety minutes.
With every werewolf film there has to be comparison of the transformation scene as rite of passage and BLOODTHIRSTY plays towards the films tragic side, that's not to say it's no less bone crunchingly horrific to watch (and hear) however it is not the central point of focus in this personable tale of loss and growth. For those wanting a mindless creature feature, may find it better placed elsewhere but for those willing to take a different eye to the well trodden sub genre, there's much to adore about Moses' film.
Behind Amelia Moses direction, BLOODTHIRSTY is a stand for women in cinema and by putting Grey's story at the front and centre of a creature feature really adds something to the genre. Wendy Hill-Tout and Lowell's script and music are frankly beautiful. The words expressed through her music are heartfelt and evolutionary with Grey's own growth, as the film goes on, the lyrics become darker and the music more sombre but in doing so, stronger. This is a film about growth, not just into a monster, but as a character and as such, this really is a much more downbeat film that puts people before monsters.