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Jasmine Mooney, Sheldon Trosko, Matthew Janega
Matthew Janega

 "Slow Bleed" Review 
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After kidnapping a man, Lena (Jasmine Mooney)  uses both her sultry sexuality and her internal rage to turn her victim, Aston (Sheldon Trosko), into an example. Can Aston prevent the worst from happening?

As the film's tagline goes "Blood Will Flow," I think we know the answer.

A nearly 9-minute short film from writer/director Matthew Janega and Atka Films, Slow Bleed is nicely photographed by Jordan Ewan in a style that weaves together both a noirish and gothic sensibility into a film that often feels like a cut from one of the Saw films with its exploration of violence and its internal and external justifications.

While there's nothing in Slow Bleed even remotely as graphic as Saw, the film burns most brightly when Lena, an obviously wounded woman with vengeance in her heart, is building up her emotions and making everyone wonder if she's actually going to strike out at a victim who, for the most part, appears guilty only because of his gender.

Called upon to be not much more than sexy with a healthy dose of psychotic, Jasmine Mooney exudes the sort of menace that makes you believe she could have taken this character considerably further than she's given the chance to do here. Mooney has a sense of menace about her, yet if you watch her eyes as she's explaining to Aston why he's the recipient of her wrath it's clear that there's so much more going on inside Mooney's Lena. The cast is rounded out by Sheldon Trosko's solid turn as Aston along with Janega's own appearance as an undercover officer.

While Slow Bleed is filmed in color, the film feels very black-and-white and Candise Paul's set design adds to the film's claustrophobic chills.

Slow Bleed played recently at Pasadena's Action on Film Festival, where the film picked up a nomination for Best Composition. Filmed on a modest $4,000 (CAD), Slow Bleed was shot utilizing the Canon 5D and Canon 7D cameras in 16:9 HD. Slow Bleed is a rather straightforward horror/thriller that, nonetheless, displays great promise by its lead actress and provides solid proof of Janega's visual prowess.

For more information on the film, visit the Slow Bleed website.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  
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