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Bedridden

Are there problems with the new supernatural horror film “Bedridden”? Absolutely. Did I still enjoy every ridiculous minute of it? You bet!

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This is one I am sure many of you would hotly debate me on because Bedridden is a hot, glorious mess. I, for one, am here for it. Buckle up, though. This article is going to be every bit as chaotic as this film is. 

But you ultimately dug it? you ask coyly, kicking off our debate on a cheeky foot. Well, I’ll attempt to trace my positive perspective on this film to three sources:

1. My ADHD; it’s easy for me to find balance in chaos. My senses can be hypersensitive, and some of the odd sound effects hit twitch-inducing auditory processing buttons. That was unexpected and notable.

2. Have you heard of “kitchen sinking”? It’s a psychology term that means you or your partner throw “everything but the kitchen sink” into an argument. Now, kitchen sinking is NOT a behavior that serves any relationship well. But apply it to a horror flick to throw seasoned horror lovers off the trail of predictability? I gotta admit, it was pretty damn effective.

At the halfway mark, I still had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how Dakota (writer, director) and Christina Valencia (co-writer) planned to stick this landing.

3. My love of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Some of the bedroom sequences and the evil spirit’s (hellhound, technically) attitude gave me total Freddy vibes.

Why? you continue, pulling me onto the mat for our eventual verbal sparring match.  

I’ll be honest: after the first twenty minutes, I was preparing myself to pan this film. If I hadn’t been tasked to write about it, I may have turned it off. Goodness, am I glad I didn’t.  

Ultimately, while billed as a horror, Bedridden is a tragic love story (think sad energy reminiscent of The Crow or The Fly but for forty-somethings).

Ray and Teri Luna, played by Jose Angel Herrera and Elizabeth Elise Gonzalez, are a Wish-sent Gomez and Morticia. There are some truly touching sequences between these two. 

“What does it feel like to be dead? Is it wonderful like we thought?” 

“It’s not totally lights out. You’re still aware of the nothingness.” 

They’re a hoot individually, too. Herrera’s Ray smacks of Steve Buschemi in the best way possible.

Gonzalez serves a rockin’ Scream Queen in Teri. I cannot even imagine how much the sound folks’ ears bled when she was in her element. She’s like a cross between Jennifer Tilly and back-in-the-day Rosanne Barr.

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Sometimes, her crows channel the Wicked Witch of the West (think, “I’m melting, melting. Ohhhhh, what a world, what a world!”). You can’t help but respect the pipes on Gonzalez and equally reel at and relish the harsh sound.

“You’re a murderer, Ray… you killed our baby!… it’s all on you, RAY. It’s all your fault, RAY.” [Teri, upon learning Ray’s agreement with Zaheer and the broken planchette. Side note: Don’t even try to convince me Dakota and Valencia weren’t offering a nod to Peter Venkman here.]

While I’m giving credit for some of the character and relationship development in the film, I have to give a nod to Raquel Gomez, who plays Ray and Teri’s daughter, Cassie. Watching Cassie navigate her responsibilities to her mother and partner with whom she had just found out she was pregnant was lovely. Gomez brought comfort and ease to her role….even when being eaten by a hellhound. 

Ok, more on the kitchen sinking, Bedridden tosses aaaaaaall the common horror elements and tropes in, most as red herrings.

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Some of those familiar tropes include:

Revenge. I really thought I was going to have to look at that contact Hector Dez was sporting for the majority of this ride. I appreciate this whole thing needed a catalyst, and the urn moment was a nice touch. 

Creepy dolls. I see you, Lizzie. 

Cursed Ouija board. How nostalgic. And then knock me senseless with “the Great Zaheer!” I can’t even with that one. 

Altered state. Teri was warned about taking too much OxyContin. What’s real? What’s not?… one, two, opioids are coming for you.   

EVEN STILL, I loved it. It kept me disoriented and curious. I needed to know what thread(s) Dakota and Valencia were pulling.    

Fine. I’m intrigued. I’ll check it out.

Wicked. Tap me when you’re ready to negotiate toward a shared appreciation of this one. And don’t be surprised when I greet you with, Welcome, I’ve been expecting you.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3
Catch Bedridden for free now on Tubi. 

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