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Bliss (2019)

Aesthetically, 'Bliss' is a visual delight for the viewer. Coming from the mind of writer and director Joe Begos, utilsing a neon noir drenched colour palette with delightful cinematography, this film looks every bit the acid trip it is trying to convey. I must warn though that this film features some of the heaviest use of flashing lights and strobe effects I think I've ever witnessed for a horror production, as well as some body mounted camera work that makes you feel like you are right there in the moment. I can see how this could be an overwhelming experience that isn't going to work for everyone. Personally I fully immersed myself in it and loved every moment.


This is a film that solely hinges on the performance of its lead. Had this character been miscast, this production would have crumbled around her. Thankfully, lead actress Dora Madison, playing Dezzy, is phenomenal in this role. The range of emotions and character complexities that she displays over the course of this film is truly mesmerising. Whilst the rest of the supporting cast around her are just as talented, each also giving an outstanding performance, it's the incredible and engaging talent of Madison that kept my attention from start to finish.


One thing I find detrimental to a vampire story is the soundtrack and score. It's imperative to have a 'live-by-the-night' tone and feel to your movie, and the best way to convey that is with the music. The man responsible for that here is Steve Moore, an American multi-instrumental producer and film composer who's notable works come from 'VFX', 'Mayhem' and 'The Guest'. Moore has an incredible talent, with the ability to take an audience from frantically panic-induced to calm and contemplative all within a matter of moments. His work here is one of the best I have heard in quite some time.


The parallels between drug addiction and vampires is something that I have always considered when watching these types of films, however I've never seen a film that displays these parallels as perfectly as here. Combining both elements together in a way that has you question whether these events are genuine or all within the drug fueled mind of our protagonist, I'm more inclined to chose the former, but I can appreciate the suggestion is there for you to decide as an audience and make up your own mind.


Whilst I'm not particularly fond of vampire movies as a whole, there are a small few out there that I really enjoy. As a subgenre, it isn't something I tend to lean towards very often, so going into this film completely blind, it came as quite the surprise to me as this developed down that route. 'Bliss' is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable horror movie discoveries I have made in recent years and now sits firmly in the top end of my all time favourites list. I genuinely loved everything about this film from the lighting, the cinematography, the practical effects, the cast and characters, the score and overall direction and feel that this film takes. 'Bliss' is nothing short of perfection.


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