In “Bloodthirsty,” Gray dreams of eating meat. She’s vegan when we first meet her, so you can imagine how much she sticks to that personal commitment. Grey’s relationship with record producer Byronic Vaughn (Greg Bryk) is less predictable, but not much less. A dark cloud hangs around Vaughn, perhaps because he is hiding in his secluded domain, but also perhaps because people believe he murdered his fellow musician Greta (thankfully never seen or heard of) while ‘he was collaborating on his last album. Gray is aware of Greta’s fragmentary disappearance, if only because his worried girlfriend Charlie (Katharine King So) often reminds him of it. But Gray still agrees to visit, work, and sleep at Vaughn’s. Because while Vaughn scares Charlie, Gray is even more scared of “my second album falling apart.”
This kind of declarative statement is not disappointing because it is overrated, but rather because it is typical of the film’s unreflective and often literal view of Grey’s subjective reality. There isn’t much about this movie that isn’t clearly explained or blatantly implied by the film’s all-caps dialogue and slow-burning plot.
We know everything we need to know about Gray, which makes it harder to care about her character beyond a general hope that she will stop forcing herself in situations that force her to believe Vaughn. He looks pretty bad throughout, as Charlie often reminds Gray. He also says that he did not kill Greta, and Gray is made believe because his album “lacks something”, but also because you can not believe everything in the press, as she tells Charlie. So Gray repeatedly submits to Vaughn’s creative vision, and his music improves. Not a lot, mind you, although co-writer / songwriter Lowell’s songs aren’t exactly terrible either.
What really holds “Bloodthirsty” back is the general reluctance of its creators to force Gray to do more than just move in Vaughn’s shadow. Watching his struggle is sort of the point of this type of psychodrama, but it’s still frustrating that Lowell and co-writer Wendy All-Hill’s script doesn’t really cross the boundaries of this kind of genre narrative. . There are stark and suggestive imagery everywhere, especially when Gray is recording songs in Vaughn’s private studio. But its reflection finally haunts our side of the glass that separates its mixer from its microphone.