Bliss: Drug-induced madness

Header image for the article <em>Bliss</em>: Drug-induced madness Credit: SHUDDER
Bliss has some of the least blissful visuals imaginable.

Shudder’s latest exclusive horror, Bliss, has recently splattered its way onto screen.

Featured in many film festivals, I had high hopes for this film. Understanding this film was lower budget, it was still ultra creative, extremely graphic and for most of it, nauseating. Bliss is a horror film that is definitely not for everyone, especially those who are faint of heart.

Bliss features a brilliant painter, Dezzy (Dora Madison Burge), who stumbles upon every artists’ greatest fear — a creative block. Resorting to hard-core, experimental drugs, Dezzy falls into a drug induced haze that helps her complete her masterpiece.

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However, everything has a price. Dezzy is faced with horrific visions of sex, death and a hint of vampirism. She must overcome it all to finish her work.

While horror films that base their plotline around drugs or other substances are not my favourite, they do have their place in the horror genre. Unlike others, Bliss brought a whole new layer to the subgenre: vampirism. It added a sense of mystery (and at the beginning, confusion) and gave some purpose to the high level of gore found in the film.

Bliss starts off fairly tame, but gets increasingly gorier and disturbing until you are left with the final explosion at the end of the film. The practical effects used in the film gave it an old school horror feel, but was still absolutely gut wrenching. For those who gag at the sight of blood, I would highly recommend avoiding this film.

With the blood and guts aside, Bliss was so nauseating that it felt unwatchable at parts. The horrific soundtracks mixed with the flashing lights, quick camera movements and multi-coloured rooms made it extremely visually unappealing. Some scenes it felt like there was so much going on at once that it was hard to focus on the movie. Bliss definitely torments every human sense (except for smell) and it even provides a warning at the beginning of the film for how many flashing lights are utilized.

While the plotline of Bliss is pretty straightforward, it feels like the movie drags on forever, even though it was less than an hour and a half. There is a lot of random, drug induced filler throughout the entire film that just starts to feel overdone. This film would’ve been better off as a horror short. However, the film does wrap up with a pretty epic and disgusting ending.

Bliss is a horror film that is definitely not for everyone. Its visually upsetting, filled with horrendous gore but manages to have a pretty unique underlying story. For those who enjoy the darker and odder side of film, Bliss is something definitely worth checking out. For those who like their classic slasher or monster movies, I probably would avoid this film like a vampire avoids the sun.