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Bereavement (Blu-ray Review)

27 Aug, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 8/30/11
Anchor Bay
Box Office $0.04 million
$26.98 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for bloody violence, torture, brief strong language and nudity.
Stars Michael Biehn, John Savage, Alexandra Daddario, Brett Rickaby.

Independent horror film Bereavement is the prequel to writer-director Stevan Mena’s Malevolence, which attempts to explore the psychosis of (and even evoke sympathy for) a deranged madman in a small Pennsylvania town.

What it delivers instead is visceral bloodlust juxtaposed by stellar cinematography and featuring stunning young actress Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief), who appears destined for bigger roles.

Daddario plays Allison, whose parents were killed in an automobile accident in Chicago. She goes to live with her uncle (former action star Michael Biehn in a decidedly secondary role), his wife and daughter in the country outside of Minersville, Penn.

Located nearby is an abandoned meatpacking plant inhabited by a lunatic (Brett Rickaby from The Crazies) who abducts a local 6-year-old boy with sensory issues and forces him over a five-year period to watch sadistic torture killings of young women — the latter to appease some type of boogeyman demon.

Allison, who takes to jogging the local roads (naturally) past the meatpacking plant, befriends the son of wheelchair-bound trailer trash (John Savage). And while that story arc is largely a prelude to a drive-in tryst, Allison’s curiosity about the plant and the young boy looking out from a broken window steer the movie back to the blood and gore.

Bereavement’s body count does include a few surprises, even if the ending is foreshadowed from the start. Regardless, it’s Daddario’s presence and indifference that make the movie worth watching — especially on Blu-ray Disc.

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