Photo Credit: Camille Constantin Fadl

BLOOD BRIDE is a short horror film directed by Michelle Romano for the Soska Sisters’ Annual Massive Blood Drive PSA. Running at a brisk fourteen minutes, the short tells the story of a husband who would take whatever means necessary to save his sick wife, even if it means bringing harm upon himself. Though it’s a lovingly selfless task, it unfortunately places him firmly in the grip of a sucky situation (Vampire puns, for the win).

I’m a fan of vampire films, but the subgenre has admittedly grown stale – which is unsurprising, considering that they date back to the early 1900s. It’s refreshing, however, to encounter a unique take on the beasts. In large part, BLOOD BRIDE is a film that is dominated by its villains. Robert Catrini is spot-on in the role of a doctor who perhaps shouldn’t be trusted, but it’s the women of the film who truly shine-fittingly enough since February is Women in Horror Month.

Each of the vampire-portraying actresses add a level of bizarre surrealism to the short, amping up the level of viewer investment with their off-putting demeanors, but it’s Heather Grace Hancock who proves to be the standout. Hancock exudes a mysteriousness that strengthens the dream-like tone of the film’s latter scenes, and you immediately buy into her villainous performance, though you’ll likely wish that she’d been featured more prominently.

As director, Michelle Romano steadily builds an eerie, surreal tone and forces viewers to become endlessly intrigued by the unfolding events. She’s crafted a horror short that is sure to breathe life into the horror genre for those that need a shakeup – but that’s not to say it isn’t without flaws.

The lead actor in the film is hardly convincing in the husband role, and he frequently finds himself outshined by the reset of the cast, especially in his scenes with the women of BLOOD BRIDE. The biggest issue, though, is the ending. I was thoroughly invested in and enjoying Romano’s flick, but the final shot essentially undoes everything that was suspenseful in the first place. I won’t spoil it, but i imagine that many viewers will be frustrated with the resolution when the short premieres on YouTube February 19th.

Despite my gripes, however, BLOOD BRIDE is a vampire film worth savoring a few bloody bites of. If the ending leaves a bad taste in your mouth, just spit it out. There’s plenty still to feast on.

Curt Oglesbee

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