Bliss of Evil (2023) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Bliss of Evil (2023) Review

Horrorific content by angie on August 31st, 2023 | Movie Review | Slasher, Survival, Psychological, Thriller, Mystery, Confined, B-Horror

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It's about a sound engineer struggling in the aftermath of trauma who is forced to face her fears when she's locked in a music studio with her girlfriend's grunge band. Mistrust and mayhem erupt as they search for answers and a way out.

Bliss of Evil was directed by Josh Morris and stars Michaela ShuttleworthWayne BassettChenaya AstonLloyd TakiwaJordan SchulteEmily RowbottomCorrie HinschenShanay De MarcoBrendan R Burman-Bellenger, and Eliza Louise Allen.

Bliss of Evil Review

Infused with vibrant hairstyles inspired by the Spice Girls and an empowering sense of girl power, Bliss of Evil encapsulates the essence of late nineties counterculture. Unlike other works that heavily rely on nostalgia, this film offers subtle nods to the era, refreshingly departing from the standard approach of forcefully immersing the audience in a bygone decade. By maintaining a balanced approach, director Josh Morris avoids alienating viewers unfamiliar with that time while giving Bliss of Evil longevity beyond mere nostalgia exploitation.

Drawing from their personal experiences in the music industry, co-writers Josh Morris and Corrie Hinschen have transformed these encounters into a chilling twist on the slasher genre. Set primarily during a 1997 band rehearsal, Bliss of Evil delves into an analysis of trauma's aftermath, the toxic effects of ego, and the enduring determination of the human spirit to survive. Morris and Hinschen tackle weighty themes, and there are moments when viewers might need to step away. The late nineties backdrop acts as a buffer between the audience and the events, all while emphasizing that societal change has been disappointingly limited.

After its festival circuit run, Bliss of Evil recently underwent an update, plunging the audience into an intense frenzy of violence. Short but ferociously aggressive, this new opening scene immediately quickens the pulse. It's a bold and raw introduction that firmly establishes the film's capability for malevolence. This addition, orchestrated by Morris and the team, expertly teases the bloodthirsty audience before diving into the narrative.

Transitioning from its violent prologue, Bliss of Evil shifts its focus to sound engineer Isla (Sharnee Tones). She grapples with the aftermath of an undisclosed traumatic incident. Meanwhile, her girlfriend Nicole (Shanay De Marco) deflects from Isla's troubles by channeling her energy into securing her band a record deal. Yet, the past inevitably catches up, forcing the couple and their bandmates into a locked rehearsal space, pursued by a relentless killer. The initial brutality allows Morris to delve into Isla and her companions. Following the initial chaos, a considerable pause ensues before the bloodshed resumes. This interval underscores the fractured nature of this "friendship" group. Their unity seems based solely on the shared aspiration for fame and success rather than genuine camaraderie. This portrayal authentically mirrors the dynamics within many bands, revealing how easily such groups can disintegrate.

Once the pieces fall into place, Morris orchestrates further instances of gore, though none rival the impact of the opening. However, during this segment, the film effectively unveils the underlying cause of Isla's trauma. As Bliss of Evil revisits its origins, the horror lurking beneath is revealed. This sequence is deftly handled, potentially resonating with those who have experienced similar traumas, warranting a cautionary note before viewing.

Worth Watching?

Beyond its nostalgic dive into the nineties, Bliss of Evil transcends being a mere homage. The film captures the essence of that era with care and precision, yet its true strength lies in Morris' unflinching exploration of the harsh realities within self-serving relationships. A bold and powerful opening sets the tone, and while the ensuing killings lack the same emotional impact, the film delivers ample doses of grounded horror that will leave your blood running cold.

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