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Bereavement (2011)


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 5
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 2,901


Movie Info

n 1989, six year old Martin Bristoll was kidnapped from his backyard swing in Minersville Pennsylvania. Graham Sutter, a psychotic recluse, kept Martin imprisoned on his derelict pig farm, forcing him to witness and participate in unspeakable horrors. Chosen at random, his victim's screams were drowned out by the rural countryside. For five years, Martin's whereabouts have remained a mystery, until 17 year old Allison Miller (Alexandra Daddario) comes to live with her Uncle, Jonathan (Michael … More

R (for sadistic bloody violence, torture, brief language and nudity)
Directed By:
Written By:
Stevan Mena
In Theaters:
Aug 30, 2011
Crimson Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Bereavement

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (10) | DVD (1)

Effective atmospherics don't rescue this formulaic slasher flick.

Full Review… | March 19, 2011
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

I'd sooner touch a nine-volt battery to my tongue than sit through this film again.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Bereavement -- miraculously as dull as its title -- is neither far gone enough to be funny nor well thought-out enough to be disturbing.

Full Review… | March 15, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

Virtually every shot in Bereavement -- a sort of prequel to Mena's Malevolence (2005) -- is the right one; the editing, also by Mena, is first-rate.

Full Review… | March 9, 2011
Top Critic

This is an example of what happens when a clever, proficient filmmaker falls in love with brutal trash.

Full Review… | March 3, 2011
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

while Bereavement is certainly a slasher, it is also a film about how monsters are made, in which every character, hero and villain alike, is figured as tragic prey to genes and circumstance.

Full Review… | October 19, 2012
Little White Lies

Evidence of a group of filmmakers who take their horror seriously.

Full Review… | September 5, 2011

Palinesque, bland and increasingly silly with oodles of unintentional humor instead of what every horror fan expects: palpable scares.

Full Review… | March 19, 2011
NYC Movie Guru

Gruesome in the moment, but your memory of it is easily wiped clean.

Full Review… | March 17, 2011
NYC Film Critic

"Bereavement" is cruel and unusual.

Full Review… | March 17, 2011
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The film is so laughably Freudian it could play as a parody of certain acclaimed horror film studies such as Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Horror Film.

Full Review… | March 9, 2011
Slant Magazine

"Bereavement" isn't a bad slasher film, but after a few stabs (no pun intended) at being something more, it settles for being just a slasher film. And that's disappointing.

Full Review… | March 4, 2011
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

In this deliberately paced horror movie, a big-city teen homes in on the darkness at the edge of a small Pennsylvania town, with grim results.

Full Review… | March 4, 2011
Film Journal International

It truly plays like one person's nightmarish descent into a world of total madness. It gives you a feel for who Martin Bristol is and why he's so lethal. On that level the film is a complete success.

Full Review… | March 3, 2011

Bereavement is one nasty piece of work.

Full Review… | March 3, 2011
What Would Toto Watch?

It's difficult to care about people who are all stupid to a fault.

Full Review… | February 25, 2011

A character-centric thriller signifying Mena's progression as a filmmaker even as it doesn't quite retain the same home-grown charm and earnestness of its predecessor.

Full Review… | February 24, 2011

Though Mena refers to his sadistically sliced up female brisket as therapeutic, there's a line between calming viewer fears, and titillating them. While human chopped meat served up raw making you go vegetarian, isn't exactly relished food for thought.

Full Review… | February 20, 2011

Audience Reviews for Bereavement


A small improvement over 2003's Malevolence, with more interesting characters and slightly better acting. Bereavement will satisfy die hard horror fans as a run of the mill gory slasher flick, but there's nothing here to attract anyone else, especially in the way of logic or an interesting narrative.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

"Brought home a boy from the valley. He's young enough to learn the business my way."

This recent entry in the "small town psychopathic serial killer" genre isn't exactly a game-changer and it doesn't try to be that scary, but it is a tense, nasty affair that will probably appeal to some horror fans.

We've got out deranged killer that preys on young women, a young boy he kidnaps to "assist" him, and a new arrival from out of town (Alexandra Dadarrio) that enjoys taking long runs alone that just happen to pass by a sinister looking and isolated rundown meat-packing plant. If you're guessing that's a recipe for blood, brutality and death, then you're right.

Bereavement is fine for what it is, but I doubt I'll be compelled to watch it more than once. There's nothing really exceptional about it, though some of the outdoor cinematography is beautiful, there's a concentrated effort to give depth and a back-story to most of the main characters, and Alexandra is undoubtedly nice eye candy (if there was an Academy Award for filling out a halter top, she'd have it in the bag). The bottom line, though, is that this is such a thoroughly bleak movie that it's almost too realistically grim and hopeless to find entertainment in. That's not necessarily a "flaw", but it's definitely something some viewers will respond less favorably to than others.

Oh, and I don't think I've heard this much screaming in a film in quite a while. Have your ears prepared to be assaulted.

Lewis C.

Super Reviewer


I was really looking forward to this prequel to 2004's Malevolent, but was sadly disappointed. The premise of the movie is great and right up my alley. A twisted gore fest about a serial killer who abducts a child, in the hope of making him his predecessor. Sounds good, but in actuality, it was very slow and extremely predictable. I kept hearing about how scary and messed up this film was, did they watch what I just watched? There are a few bright spots here, mainly the cast, which was terrific, and the end of the film, which while predictable, was still really cool to see. Spencer List stars as Martin, the serial killer in waiting. At the ripe old age of 13, this kid has become a B-Horror star! He's this cute, quiet, innocent looking kid, and before you know it he's killed you. He has this way about him, in these types of movies that make it seem real, and he is truly scary. The cast was great, the last twenty minutes was cool to watch, but really there's not much else here.

Todd Smith

Super Reviewer

First section of a three-part trilogy which surpasses the sequel. This movie doesn't rely on cheap scares or excessive gore to grip the audience, it relies on fear and subjective scares.
Pretty good prequel/slasher film!

John Me

Super Reviewer

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