Blood and Friendship in BLEED WITH ME and Beyond, FEAR STREET Vinyl, Jason’s Nightmare, And More
In this Issue:
- Horror History: Blood and Friendship in Bleed with Me and Beyond
- Image of the Week: Even Monsters Have Nightmares
- Tiny Bites – This Week’s Best Horror Headlines
- Things We Love: Three Killer Scores
- Hey, That’s Us! – Shudder in the News
How Do You Say “Goodbye”?
I’ve never been very good at it, myself. I’ve had the immense privilege to edit The Bite for the last two years and saying goodbye is … bittersweet.
My goal with The Bite was to try and open a door into peoples’ heads. To crack open a writer’s mind and let them show themselves on the page (or the screen, in this case). The most profound part of writing is imbuing your work with yourself, offering part of your identity to the piece. Honor that part of yourself, embrace that part of your process, and, perhaps most importantly, don’t be afraid of it. That part of myself is what’s led to some of the work I’m most proud of, as both a writer and editor.
It’s hard to leave a job you’ve loved, even if it’s time. The entire Shudder team has been incredible, including coworkers both past and present. I will miss them immensely. But, dear readers, the time has sadly come, and different opportunities are calling. The Bite will be going on hiatus as of this issue. So for now I’ll say thank you for coming along on this most exceptional ride with me. It wouldn’t have been possible without you tuning in every week.
Blood and Friendship in Bleed with Me and Beyond
By Alison Peirse
Everyone has had a best friend like Emily. The beautiful, smart girl who actively enjoys making you the third wheel when you hang out with her and her adoring boyfriend, who likes to walk ahead and you to trail in her wake, who – without ever needing to verbalize it – insists on being the shining star at the center of all your waking moments.
Now, most of us are smart enough to recognize the Emily’s of this world, and to cast them aside when they show their true colors. But Rowan — poor, poor Rowan — isn’t able (or willing) to see her brand–new friend for what she really is. And because of Rowan’s naivety, her desperation to be liked, to be seen, it all goes so very wrong.
In Bleed with Me, Amelia Moses’ debut feature film coming to Shudder in August, Rowan (Lee Marshall) anticipates a lovely weekend away with Emily (Lauren Beatty) at her family’s holiday home in the middle of nowhere. But their trip goes wrong from the get-go. Brendan (Aris Tyros), Emily’s boyfriend who’s along for the trip, makes it clear that Rowan is the odd one out. Meanwhile, Rowan begins to suspect that her new BFF is actually more interested in stealing her blood.
Bleed with Me has a lot to say about female friendships, not least how the real horror comes from narcissistic best friends with perfect hair and a desire to control everyone’s existence. Jennifer’s Body might proclaim “hell is a teenage girl”, but Jennifer and Needy have nothing on twenty-something women who crush their jobs, drive good cars, and inherit a luxurious cabin in the woods (all the while maintaining flawless skin).
After Bleed with Me, you’ll want to dive deeper into this kind of film. To remove all that decision fatigue, here are a few recommendations.
Bleed with Me takes place over a few days in one place with only three characters. For similarly tight, terse horror, primarily in one location, try Relic (2020), The Wind (2018), or Lost Gully Road (2017).
But Bleed with Me’s horror is propelled by the skin-crawling false intimacies between friends. For fans keen to indulge in more toxic female friendships, why not try Shadows in the Palace (2007), Poison Ivy (1992), Happy Birthday to Me (1981), or Diabolique (1955), the OG of this genre. Christina and Nicole are not only iconic but also completely and utterly, insidious.
Bleed with Me also hinges on two important questions: is Emily gaslighting Rowan? Or, is Emily something more sinister? Of course, this prompts a third question: what if the answer to both is “yes”?
If the gaslighting angle makes you shudder, I recommend heading back to where it all started: Gaslight (1940), My Name is Julia Ross (1945), or The Amazing Mr. X (1948). If you lean more towards the monstrous (understandable), try Near Dark (1987) or Pale Blood (1990).
However, your number one choice here should be The Moth Diaries (2011), which gives you a friendship between very intense teenage girls at an elite boarding school, and a protagonist beset by that burning question: is my new best friend subtly being a total bitch? Or is she a bloodsucking creature of the night?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
Alison Peirse is an award–winning horror writer and an Associate Professor of Film. Her fourth horror book, Women Make Horror: Filmmaking, Feminism, Genre (2020) was a Finalist for Superior Achievement in Non–Fiction in the Bram Stoker Awards, a Runner Up for Rondo Book of the Year, and winner of the Best Edited Collection at the BAFTSS 2020 awards. She writes a bi–weekly horror newsletter, The Losers’ Club.
IMAGE OF THE WEEK
Even Monsters Have Nightmares
COMIC-CON, PEELE, AND MORE
NBC News explores how Old focuses on Hollywood’s unfair fear of aging women.
Jordan Peele’s next feature was announced, simply titled Nope and leaving us all eager to know more.
James Wan’s upcoming return to horror, Malignant, got a new trailer to chill everyone to the bone.
EA Games announced a remake of the classic survival horror game Dead Space.
The streets of Milan were decked out in horror finery to help promote A Classic Horror Movie.
SDCC@Home delivered some great trailers, including Dexter: New Blood…
… a first trailer for the new Chucky series …
… and Chapelwaite, featuring Adrien Brody and Schitts Creek’s Emily Hampshire.
This essay explores the themes of religion, shame, and self-acceptance in Park Chan-wook’s vampiric Thirst.
Good Housekeeping ranked their picks for the 30 best horror novels of all time.
Distractify investigates American Horror Stories’ Rabbit Rabbit and its real-life origins.
THINGS WE LOVE
Three Killer Scores
Fans of the Fear Street Trilogy need to get a load of Waxwork Records’ companion vinyl trio. We’re obsessed with these wicked alternate covers.