- Drugs, Sex, Blood, Filth & the Impending Doom 9/27/2019 12:00:00 AM by TwistedContent
No spoilers. Apart from getting sold on the synopsis I didn't really have any ideas on what "Bliss" is going to be, somehow Joe Beggos had slipped under my radar before. Not going to lie, I'm now definitely planning to watch his previous movies & wait eagerly for the ones to come.
I'm pretty sure that "Bliss" is going to find a cozy place with only certain audiences & I realize that the rest will likely pass it by or watch it and go like "eww" with some dissatisfaction. For me, "Bliss" was a doozy, 80 minutes long blast of awe. It is a mean-spirited grindhouse/art-house flick, a nightmare fueled by drugs, sex, blood, filth and an atmosphere that feels like the impending doom. It was easy to be amazed, perhaps it is the fact that this is the kind of style I'd like to explore as a filmmaker or that art-house is by far my most favorite subgenre, but pretty much everything in this movie, contents-wise & filmmaking-wise, was impressive. The lead performance by Dora Madison is sure and strong, the cinematography/editing/sound design is creative, effortful and adds to the atmosphere a lot. Mad props for the soundtrack & original score, heard Electric Wizard and more great stuff. Pacing is fast, boredom - nonexistent. Depiction of the underground world - as filthy as it is. As for the plot, nothing more was necessary, a lot can be found in the pleasantly chaotic visual story telling.
9 months into 2019 "Bliss" takes a high place among my favorite horror movies of this year & something like this was well needed. I recommend "Bliss" to anyone who enjoys the aforementioned horror subgenres, is into drug or metal culture, or likes dark art, any art. My rating: 8/10.
- What a mess... 9/28/2019 12:00:00 AM by colinwohlrab
...a drug induced, vibrant, caked-in-paint, covered in sweat and just overall a bloody mess of a good time. I like it. When the devil is inside of you, evil, I suppose, is no longer something to fear. This is definitely one of those movies that takes a minute for it to find its rhythm, but once it does you are rewarded with what this type of late nite horror thrill-fest is all about!
A pretty solid effort for such a low budget movie. If you are looking for some fast demonic scenes, this movie has a few. If you are looking for some real odd sex-type scenes, this movie has a few. And without spoiling too much if you are looking for a little drugged out, not sure which way is up, painting with blood to metal music this movie has just about enough of that.
Now I don't understand why movies still start out with the ultra cliche, struggling artist "your rent is two weeks past due" landlord scenario introductions. That said I'll say from there the movie is a pretty original descent into a mad Los Angeles moonlight world fueled by paranoia, drugs, an unrelenting desire to follow a creative trigger, and a good amount of fast paced, bright but dimly lit scenes (a real struggle to achieve I'm sure, the whole aesthetic really being mostly at nite time) with so much tension that you'll feel like you are on the drugs yourself being chased by the demon inside of you.
I enjoyed the ride, mostly, my own gripes really coming from the lack of building a convincing world. How is this artist so famous? Because it just seems like some random artist to me. That's really a minor problem. Also the name...Bliss? Really? Could've come up with something a bit more original. I guess the drug she is doing in the movie everyone refers to as "Bliss" but still..
I liked the actor who played the drug dealer and the main actress has some very nice freak-out/panic moments. Even apart from that the storyline here about a struggling artist looking for inspiration was well played out and even the more standard scenes played out nicely. I like the whole art agent scenario with the new pieces and the upcoming gallery show. And the stuff with the blonde was confusing but I really didn't mind because...I mean...the whole movie was a bit confusing but that's the thing about it: a little demonic mystery.
Not necessarily a masterpiece and I won't reccomend this to everyone but for me it hit the spot and I think it deserves a wider audience.
Just a note that there is a photosensitive epilepsy warning at the beginning of the film
- Nice artsy horror 9/29/2019 12:00:00 AM by mjsreg
Nothing is particularly obvious in this movie until late on when the story explodes.
The acting - especially by Dora Madison - is excellent throughout with believable characters that take you into their disturbed lives.
This movie is a conceptual idea of horror from beginning to end without the cliches and with superb production.
If you like something different on your movie menu this is certainly one to watch.
- An ambitious film that just can't quite stick the landing 10/1/2019 12:00:00 AM by jtindahouse
At the very beginning of 'Bliss' comes a warning that there are a lot of flashing lights in the movie and that epileptic people should be warned. Now I'm not epileptic in any way but man did I struggle to watch the opening credits. It was almost hypnotic, I wanted to look away but couldn't. This was an early indicator that this would be a very visually unique movie. A lot of bizarre and fascinating imagery is thrown at the audience. It's not an aspect of movies I typically notice but I couldn't help but be aware of it in this case.
The film had a bit of a 'Requiem for a Dream' vibe about it, particularly early on. There is a lot of heavy drug use featured in the film - in fact that's more or less what it's about. If you want to give your children a "don't do drugs" lesson this could be a good film to throw at them. It doesn't particularly glamourise them at all, in fact it makes them look downright nasty.
The final third of this film really changes everything and makes it into an almost entirely different film. I guess it's what makes it fall into the "horror" category. To be honest that was probably my least favourite element to the film. I could see why they went that way, and it tied in beautifully with the painting that is central to the film, but it just didn't work for me. Because no other characters are ever given any screen time or introduced to us in anyway it was impossible to care about any of them, and so the end scenes had almost zero intensity.
'Bliss' is a very quick little film (sitting at about 80 minutes) that has some really interesting stuff going on, but just struggles to combine it all into a fluent package. The ideas are all there, the execution is just slightly off.
- Metal AF 10/1/2019 12:00:00 AM by vasiln
Look, there's not really a lot that happens in Bliss. There's a lot of setup, especially for a horror movie, and you have to wait a while for it to pay off. At times reminiscent of Starry Eyes, Bliss is three-quarters drama-- but then, aren't us horror fans always telling our judgmental friends that drama and horror aren't that different? Horror is just tragedy written all-caps.
But this isn't anything you'd call slow burn. It's not understated. It's loud. It's in your face. There's a lot of blood. There are a lot of boobs. There are a lot of bloody boobs. And there's no apology for any of that, not in Bliss-- there's exultation.
Eventually, I guess, Bliss is supernatural horror, playing around a popular enough trope, adding it's own fresh take on the (frankly tired) canon. I'd tell you more, except maybe you don't want to be spoiled. But really, it doesn't matter, not for this film. It's not about the plot, not about any kind of twist. It's about the character and the imagery.
There are a few reasons why Bliss really works. First, the lead is perfect. "Angsty," yes, but not to the point of parody. Madison takes us along for the ride in a way that few could. Second, the visuals are stunning. Part of this is filming. Part of it is editing. Most of it is just having the guts to follow the vision. If Bliss is part Starry Eyes, it's equally part Beyond the Black Rainbow: style above all.