The Bloodhound (2018)
December 22, 2020 7:42 PM - Subscribe

A young man's visit to a wealthy friend quickly descends into fear and despair.

Promoted as a modern take on the "Fall of the House of Usher." Francis, a poor young man, receives a text from his wealthy but estranged friend asking for help. Having fallen on hard times, Francis arrives to help not just his friend but also himself. But is the cost of helping JP far higher than what Francis stands to gain?
posted by miss-lapin (3 comments total)
I rather liked this strange movie. It definitely managed to create the same sense of dreamy unease that Poe's original work provokes. Joe Adler looked more like a Byronic "hero" than what I think of when I envision Roderigo Usher. Still his performance was mesmerizing.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:56 PM on December 22, 2020

Wow, for some reason I didn't put together at all that this was The Fall of the House of Usher. The thing it most reminded me of in its setup was Alex Garland's Ex Machina, which now that I think about it definitely shares some narrative DNA with the Poe story.

I like movies that don't need to spell out all of their elements, and I liked this movie, which was not in the least inclined to. What is the Bloodhound, precisely? JP mentions at one point that it stays in a house until there is an apology - does this hint at some sort of sexual abuse JP suffered at Francis's hands when they were kids watching fairy-tale pornos and roughhousing in their sleeping bags? Is Vivian dead throughout the movie? What triggers the red lights at the end? Does Doctor Ricki practice Reiki?

Anyways, I have a lot of questions but I thought this was good, especially as lockdown cinema. The performances were strong, and they got a lot of creepy mileage out of JP's potential gaslighting and the eerily-moving curtains.
posted by whir at 10:35 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I also liked that it didn't answer questions, which I think is one of the best qualities of Poe's most enduring works. It leaves it open to multiple interpretations. Interesting when thinking of the sexual abuse angle I thought Francis may have abused Vivian not JP. This might also explain Francis's desire to see Vivian (perhaps to apologize or "redeem" himself). Of course, it's possible that the Vivian we see at the end is merely an aspect of JP's psyche. (This would explain how they died at the same time and the spilled ashes. The "real" Vivian physically died and was cremated while JP's construction of Vivian stayed with him.)

It's just a lot of fun to think about and I like that in a movie.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:34 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

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