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‘The Bloodhound’ review: Intimate and stylish retelling of a Poe classic

Polarizing slow burn horror.

The Bloodhound is a modern take on one of the most famous works of Edgar Allan Poe. “The Fall of the House of Usher” is about a man who goes to visit a friend after receiving a letter that he has fallen ill. The story touches on despair, isolation, and friendship. The short has been adapted to many different forms of media since first being released in 1839.

Director Patrick Picard visits many of these same themes in his feature debut. The Bloodhound is about a man named Francis (Liam Aiken) who goes to visit his friend JP Luret (Joe Adler). Luret lives with his twin sister Vivian (Annalise Basso) in their lavish home. It is not long before Francis begins to witness odd incidents. The Bloodhound is stylish almost to a fault. The Luret estate exudes size more than it does magnificence. There is a 1970s decor to the house and most rooms are only seen once. Despite the seeming largeness, it also is responsible for a claustrophobia atmosphere. 

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The majority of the film takes place inside of the home. There is only a shot or two taken from outside. This gives an idea of the type of luxury Luret may be living in. While he is certainly living a comfortable life, there is no hint of the extravagance The Bloodhound seems to be alluding to at times. This is not a knock against the film, though it definitely seem while the Lurets live comfortably, they are not obscenely rich.

Tone is very important in the movie. The slow burn horror constantly has the audience wondering what is going to happen next. It is an odd type suspense born from curiosity and not fear. This is mainly due to the melancholic performance of Adler. JP tends to speak deliberately and each of his movements is slow. There is an air of mystery about him that borders on sinister.

This may be where many will find fault with The Bloodhound. The movie does a good job of building up to something, but it oddly lacks emotion. There is no fear and little anticipation. This is most clear with JP’s character. Adler does a great job, but that may not be enough for some. At times, there is a try hard aspect to the character that can be off putting. 

The Bloodhound is an interesting take on a classic horror story. Joe Adler does an excellent job in what will end up being a polarizing role. The story is interesting to a point, but it will not be for everyone. The look of the film is great with great use of shadows. While the home does not have the opulence the story seems to require, it does add a dark tone to the events of the film.

The Bloodhound premieres on ARROW December 1.


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