Film Review: Bereavement – 6.5/10

“If they have no feelings, they can’t know fear. But if they can’t know fear… then why do they run?”

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I’ve recently signed up to the streaming service Shudder. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, a simple description would be Netflix but for horror. The eagle eyed among you will point out that Netflix already has a horror section, Shudder is much more comprehensive however. After watching a couple of genuinely bizarre but interesting horror shorts, one of which featuring a man ripping off his own skin at the behest of his girlfriend, I started browsing the film section and settled on Bereavement.

Allison Miller is a Chicago girl who is forced to go and live out in the sticks with her uncle Kyle Reese/Corporal Hicks (delete as to which version of Michael Biehn you favour). This achingly dull character arc plays out against the backdrop of a small boy who, due to some medical condition, can’t feel any pain, and is kidnapped by a lunatic serial killer and forced to watch while he murders various scantily clad women. These two stories don’t really juxtapose particularly well but they intersect pretty effectively around the half way mark.

As I tend to drift towards the arty end of the horror scale, its been a while since I have endured a film as nasty or violent as Bereavement. That’s not to say that I didn’t appreciate parts of it however, the story was unpredictable in places and the scares were more psychological than in your face. Bereavement is just original enough and just unsettling enough to appeal to horror fans but there is nothing here that suggests that writer/director Stevan Mena had designs on any kind of wider audience. Nor is it likely to become a break out hit in the horror world any time soon. It does kind of justify my £5 monthly subscription to Shudder however as I never would have watched or heard of Bereavement if not for the burgeoning streaming service.

*Just to be clear. This is NOT a sponsored post.

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