Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bloom – review

Director: Travis Legge

Release date: 2014

Contains spoilers

Probably the most unusual thing about Bloom is that it is a film that supports a roleplaying game created by the director, also called Bloom. The film however, might fit into that world but doesn’t overtly sell it (as one might expect a Vampire the Masquerade film to do) by displaying a world and community, rather it closely follows a single turnee.

I think what I liked most about this was this concentration and the way in which the filmmakers chose to display her reactions… I’ll explain towards the end of the review.

wake up dead
So, we begin in a motel bathroom that is absolutely covered in blood and has the lifeless body of Lily (Deann Baker) suddenly as we hear a tinnitus sounding buzz we see Lily’s eye twitch and she is suddenly awake but very confused – distressed by the situation. She touches her neck and, as she stands, sees the words ‘forgive me’ painted in blood on the mirror. When she opens the motel door the sunlight is blinding, but she stumbles into it and staggers home – people who see her looking with disdain or ignoring her.

heading home
Once home she retrieves her phone and money from her cleavage but has no key and so finds the spare and lets herself in, dropping the cash and phone and heading to the bathroom. Once cleaned up she tries to call the rape crisis helpline but can’t bring herself to do so. She ignores calls from her friend Sylvia (Danielle Doetsch) and sleeps. Sylvia eventually comes round and wants to know what happened with the hottie Lily went off with (and mentions she was somewhat intimate on the dancefloor with him). Lily can’t remember anything after getting the motel room and wonders if she had been drugged.

eye mojo
So as we follow her trying to come to terms with what is happening we see her unable to eat or drink (all the food smells rotten and she brings it straight back up). She returns to the motel, retrieves her handbag (and gets hit with a clean-up fee) and (without realising what she is doing) uses eye mojo on the desk clerk (Tim Swan). Her hearing becomes incredibly sharp but her temperature is incredibly low. We see her crying blood tears and also see that religious artefacts have no impact. She asks for help from her brother, Keith (Andrew Jacob DeHart), but he gives up when she will not go to the hospital or the police. She decides to go back to the club and asks for Sylvia’s help but she doesn’t answer the call.

amateur vampire hunter
At the club she eventually finds the guy’s name but also gains the attention of a couple of amateur vampire hunters (Terry Bell & Malcom Banks) and that is about where I’ll leave the plot. The majority of the film is entirely focused on Lily and thus Deann Baker has her work cut out for her. Part of me wondered if she were up to the task as she was quite distant in her early performance, however I suspect this was deliberate and it did bring out the numbness and shock of the victim of an attack. As the film moved along we discover that decapitation and burning are the only ways to deal with a vampire.

blood tears
What I liked about this was the way Lily’s attitude and behaviours changed and it wasn’t in the way you might imagine but it was rather satisfying. We are left with a mystery over exactly what happened to her that night as she doesn’t find the attacker (and there are comments to make us wonder if it went down as she assumed). The film is essentially an origin story for Lily and Lily alone, it offers insight into the vampiric condition but not the vampiric lifestyle (if, indeed, the universe has one – though being the basis of a rpg one would assume that world does include such a thing). However, the slow burn of this 70 minute feature might be a tad slow for some. 4 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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