“Suckablood” (dir. Ben Tillett and Jake Cuddihy, 2012, 6:46)
A few months ago, Bloody Cuts announced the end of its shorts-making initiative, which has produced two films previously featured here at The Dissolve: the proper Bloody Cuts short “Dead Man’s Lake,” and the BCHorrorChallenge micro-film “Lights Out” (which is seriously maybe the scariest two minutes of cinema I’ve ever seen). It seems only right in this month of horror to bid adieu—or a-boo—to Bloody Cuts, by featuring the series’ most popular short, “Suckablood.” Written and directed by Ben Tillett and Jake Cudahy, the film pits a wicked stepmother (played by Sam Metcalf) against a thumb-sucking little girl named Tilly (Holly Jacobson), who’s warned that if she contines with her bad habits, the monster Suckablood (Robin Berry) will come and “slaughter” her. Given a voiceover narration and an overall look befitting an Edward Gorey picture-book, “Suckablood” could almost be considered kid-friendly, if not for the monster in Tilly’s bed and the corpse at the end of the story.
In the “Making ‘Suckablood’” featurette, Cuddihy says he wrote the film under the influence of Punch & Judy and the movie Matilda, both of which also inspired the designs of the stepmother and Suckablood characters. Millennium FX was responsible for the make-up effects, which look impressively professional. But then all of “Suckablood” looks slick, thanks in large part to its location: a centuries-old estate called Middleton Towers. The film isn’t that scary, really, but the gothic trappings are attractive, and the premise is clever, depriving a little girl of the one thing that comforts her when she’s scared. It’s too bad that the people behind Bloody Cuts won’t be making more shorts like this. Their work will be missed.
Previous “Short Cuts” columns can be found here.