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Netflix Digest – Bleed & The Ones Below Reviews


Posted November 20, 2016 by

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A review digest for films you can watch right now on Netflix!

Bleed Review

bleed review

There’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to certain fundamentals of storytelling. There are thousands and thousands of stories of all kinds that begin when six friends go into the middle of nowhere to investigate something old and creepy. From that premise, a story can go off in a million different directions. Horror movies use this trope more than any other genre, and it usually descends into a bloodbath caused by something evil. At the end of the day, it’s not about whether or not something is new under the sun; it’s about what kind of glimmer of imagination a film gives off. Does BLEED, the debut movie from Tripp Rhame, shine or am I about to throw some shade?

Bleed is about six friends going into the middle of nowhere to investigate an abandoned prison. Matt (Michael Steger) and Sarah (Chelsey Crisp) are the focus of the film. The married couple is expecting a child soon and have moved to a home just outside the middle of nowhere. Sarah is several months pregnant, so naturally, an adventure into the woods to a burnt-out prison is a wise thing to do. Sarah’s hippie brother Eric (Riley Smith) is one of the six and is an amateur ghost-hunter who clashes with straight-laced, Matt.

There’s plenty of character conflict in Bleed although most of it is fairly obvious and unremarkable. And for a horror movie, there is a surprising lack of scares. Typical “jump-scares” feature a creepy, old, bearded man known as Cannibal Kane who died in the prison fire. But those moments are often undercut by directing and editing choices that remove any real impact.

Bleed is a few movies fused into one. It’s a little Texas Chainsaw except without the gritty texture of Tobe Hooper’s classic. It’s a little Rosemary’s Baby but not really. Tripp Rhame has moments of visual pops, but they are few and far between, and the scares are lackluster at best. The script is messy with uninspired dialogue which didn’t help the actors much. For hardcore horror fans, these movies are uplifted by inventive kills, but Bleed lacks those too. Things just happen matter-of-factly.

The best thing about Bleed is Georgia. Just like The Walking Dead shows, parts of Georgia look downright destitute and isolated. The state also makes filming movies there accessible which helps. Bleed’s setting is ominous and serves the story well. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t come together into a compelling final product. There’s no particular area of the film that’s glaringly wrong. But there’s also not much to rave about either.

Still, I would recommend Bleed if you’re enjoying a lazy Sunday morning. It’s the kind of movie you don’t need to pay attention too because it doesn’t entirely make much sense, but every once in a while there’s a moment that’ll reflect a little light and catch the eye.


Direction 2.5
Writing 2
Performance 2
Sound & Music 2
Cinematography 3
Editing 2.5
Visual Effects 2


The Ones Below Review

the ones below review

My mama used to say, “Netflix is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” I kid of course, as I have no mother because I was born from a fibrous husk. I am only joking about mothers because this Netflix Digest on Film Debate features two movies with expectant mothers. And the two films could not be any more different. THE ONES BELOW is a slow-burn horror film from England with a patient delivery that may or may not be your cup of tea depending on how you feel about babies and psychological thrillers.

The Ones Below centers around pregnant Kate (Clemency Poséy) and her husband Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore). The couple meets the neighbors in the flat below them who are a couple also expecting a baby. The couples have dinner, but their fun quickly takes a turn for the worse when Teresa (Laura Bin), the neighbor’s wife has an accident which forces her to give birth. Kate is devastated while Teresa’s husband Jon (David Morrissey) and Teresa blame Kate and Justin for the tragic event.

Director David Farr is an accomplished stage and screenwriter who makes his directorial debut with The Ones Below. The writing and acting are strong throughout the film. Clemency Poséy is particularly great throughout. Farr and cinematographer Ed Rutherford paint some beautiful pictures along the way. Composer Adam Ilhan layers the movie nicely with just the right amount of mood and creepy tones. The way the movie addresses motherhood is intriguing and serves as a sound basis for the terror in the film.

After reading that previous paragraph, you might think I think highly of The Ones Below. I do. It’s well-made in every way. But as a whole, it lacks any real spark. It’s interesting at the moment, but the feeling doesn’t linger. One of the problems is the uneven acting choices between Kate and Justin and Terese and Jon. While the first pair is solemn and dread-filled, the others are bordering on over the top. While neither choice is wrong in and of themselves, they create an odd dynamic that slightly offsets the overall tone.

The Ones Below is worth a watch if you enjoy the psychological thriller genre. It’s smartly crafted with moments that remind me of films like THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE (1992) or Polanski’s THE TENANT (1976). While never coming completely together to achieve the same levels as those movies, The Ones Below is an entertaining watch.


Direction 2.5
Writing 2.5
Performance 2.5
Sound & Music 2.5
Cinematography 3
Editing 2.5
Visual Effects 2


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Ruben R. Diaz
Freelance Contributor

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