The Bloodhound | Creeping dread is at the dark heart of this stylish Poe-esque chiller

From Arrow Video in the UK comes first-time director Patrick Picard’s The Bloodhound – a stylishly atmospheric modern take on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher.

Down on his luck, Francis (Liam Aiken) accepts an invitation to visit his childhood friend, Jean Paul (Joe Adler), a wealthy recluse living with his twin sister Vivian (Annalise Basso) in the family’s secluded modernist home. On his arrival, Francis discovers JP is suffering from a deep malaise, while Vivian refuses to come out of her room. JP is desperate to form an emotional connection with the homeless Francis, so he has his belongings sent to the house. He then tests Francis by exhibiting some very cruel behaviour. All the while, something strange is happening inside the house — but what has it to do with JP’s dream about the Bloodhound (a masked figure that has crawled its way inside a wardrobe)?

Creeping dread is the name of the game in this slow-burn chiller that not only draws on the spirit of Poe, but also touches on issues relevant in a Covid-pandemic world — like the effects of social isolation and loneliness on our mental health, and our quest for true and meaningful friendships. With Vivian locked away for most of the time, it’s essentially a two-hander that could easily be adapted for the stage.

While I loved the film’s mid-century modern colour palette and minimalist design, the big highlight was Joe Adler. Channelling Truman Capote (intentionally or not), he is mesmerising as the self-absorbed eccentric, bringing much depth and shade to the role. It’s worth checking this out just to watch him at work.

• Audio commentary by director Patrick Picard and editor David Scorca
• Four experimental short films by director Patrick Picard
On the Trail of The Bloodhound (45min): Making-of featurette
• Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel

About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on March 20, 2021, in American Indie and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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