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Patrick Picard
Liam Aiken, Joe Adler, Annalise Basso
Writing Credits:
Patrick Picard

A visit to a wealthy and reclusive friend lands a young man in a world of fear and despair.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English PCM 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 72 min.
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 3/23/2021

• Audio Commentary with Director Patrick Picard and Editor David Scorca
• “On the Trail” Featurette
• Four Short Films


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The Bloodhound [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 15, 2021)

Though he made a few short films over the years, 2020’s The Bloodhound offers the feature debut of Patrick Picard. With this effort, we find an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

Francis (Liam Aiken) gets a letter from JP Luret (Joe Adler), a friend from his fairly distant past. JP suffers from a mysterious affliction and displays an interest in a renewed connection with his old pal.

However, Francis soon finds himself in an ominous situation. As he learns more about the problems of JP and the Luret family, Francis becomes stuck in their world of depression and despair.

Given Poe’s reputation, one might expect a spooky tale from Bloodhound. Even with the ample liberties Picard takes, one would still anticipate a film with some tension and drama.

Nope. Instead, Bloodhound delivers a movie with a maddeningly slow pace and little narrative movement.

Even at a brief 72 minutes, Bloodhound struggles to find content to fill the space. We wind up with endless shots of Francis and JP as they do… well, not much of anything.

Perhaps this seems unfair, as Bloodhound does aptly convey JP’s oddness. A very strange man, the movie makes his unconventional personality and various mental issues obvious.

But that doesn’t add up to a compelling narrative. JP’s weird vibe isn’t enough to occupy the viewer across 72 minutes, especially since Francis doesn’t develop in a significant manner.

Bloodhound comes with the bones of an intriguing tale, as it teases us with views of reality vs. fiction. At no point do we ever truly grasp the truth of the story, so it multiple interpretations of events become possible.

Which would seem wonderful if any of these felt the slightest bit interesting. Because Bloodhound seems so relentlessly solipsistic and monotonous, nothing ever threatens to draw in the viewer and create any level of interest in the characters or their fates.

Visually, Bloodhound offers a well-composed film, as it creates a striking appearance. Framing and cinematography seem top-notch.

However, I get the impression Picard thinks that the movie’s visual design would carry the day and compensate for the absence of dramatic development. For some, it probably will, as a cadre of viewers will find the film’s vagueness and its emphasis on looks and ambience to suffice.

This viewer doesn’t belong to that club, though. Despite some cinematic strengths, Bloodhound just seems too slow and too dull to become an engaging experience.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

The Bloodhound appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, this became a positive presentation.

The film’s biggest weakness came from low-light shots, as those tended to seem a bit murky, and blacks could feel somewhat inky. Perhaps the filmmakers intended these elements to look like this, but the darker elements still felt blander than I’d anticipate.

Otherwise, the image worked well. Though those low-light elements could veer slightly soft, the film usually offered nice delineation, without any prominent definition issues.

The image lacked jagged edges or moiré effects, and it came free from edge haloes. Source flaws also failed to become a concern.

Colors veered heavily teal, with occasional instances of amber and red as well. These didn’t excite, bit they seemed appropriately rendered. Ultimately this was a more than watchable presentation.

Given the movie’s low-key vibe, one should expect a low-key DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack from The Bloodhound. Most of the time, creepy atmosphere dominated the mix.

When these components came to the fore, they managed to create a fairly solid sense of place, and the quiet score also displayed positive stereo imaging. However, the movie’s restrained nature left the soundfield without a lot to do.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that seemed natural and concise. The score felt full and rich within its own quiet feel as well.

Effects also didn’t tend to do much, but they came across as accurate and without distortion. Though not a memorable mix, the track felt adequate for the story.

A few extras appear here, and we launch with an audio commentary from director Patrick Picard and editor David Scorca. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, sets and locations, music, editing, cast and performances, and related topics.

Expect a disappointing commentary here, as Picard and Scorca fail to deliver an especially informative view of the film. Oddly, they tell us virtually nothing about the adaptation of the Poe story, and they tend to semi-meander much of the time.

Even with a brief 72-minute running time, Picard and Scorca struggle to fill the track, as they go silent much too often. This becomes a lackluster commentary at best, one without a lot of informational value.

On the Trail of The Bloodhound runs 45 minutes, 21 seconds and includes notes from Picard, Scorca, producer Leal Naim, cinematographer Jake Magee, production designer Arielle Ness-Cohn, and actor Joe Adler.

“Trail” covers the film’s development and story/characters, getting the production off the ground and aspects of the indie process, cast and performances, photography, locations and set design, editing, and the film’s release. Some of this material repeats from the commentary, but we get a lot of unique material and “Trail” acts as a good overview. Indeed, it proves much more effective than the blah commentary.

The disc also includes four Patrick Picard Short Films. We find Bad Dream (1:06), The Muffled Hammerfall in Action (0:51), The Mosaic Code (0:32) and Wiggleworm (0:48).

Boy, when they said short films, they really meant short films! I’m not even sure they should count as “films” given their extreme brevity.

Don’t expect narrative material from these shorts, as instead, they’re abstract combinations of visuals and music. They seem pretty pointless to me, but perhaps someone will dig them.

Adapted from an Edgar Allan Poe story, The Bloodhound divests the tale of any potential terror or chills. Instead, it seems willfully dull and slow-moving, without anything to impact the viewer in a positive manner. The Blu-ray comes with generally good picture and audio as well as a decent set of bonus materials. Bloodhound boasts appealing visuals but nothing else.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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