Welcome back for Bloodride’s second episode, Three Sick Brothers. Once again our host, the silent bus driver, adjusts his mirror and the camera pans along the rows of doomed passengers. This time the camera finally rests on a young man with blood dripping from his ear. And with that, Three Sick Brothers promises to deliver some domestic scares.
WARNING – EPISODE SPOILERS BELOW
Three Sick Brothers Take a Family Road Trip
After three years institutionalized in a psychiatric facility, Erik has come home to live with his mother. But when she leaves him alone, Erik’s brothers, Otto and George, convince him to join them on a trip to their old family cabin. Along the way, the brothers pick up a hitchhiker, Monika, at a gas station. Though the brothers’ cabin reunion is initially light-hearted, things become increasingly tense. George and Otto reminisce about their cruel father who insisted on the boys sharpening knives whenever they arrived at the cabin. When Monika teases that Otto is ‘crazy’ while dancing and drinking, the brothers’ tempers flare briefly.
Though the brothers’ cabin reunion is initially light-hearted, things become increasingly tense.
Later Erik explains that he spent time in a psychiatric ward. Monika questions Erik about this relationship with his father. Despite Erik remaining tight-lipped, George subtly hints that their father deserved to live and Erik was the only one who did anything about it. Now fearing for her safety, Monika tries to leave the cabin but George and Otto force her into a chair. Erik tries to save her, but Otto clubs him over the head with a bottle. With Erik helplessly watching, his brothers repeatedly stab Monika.
A Boy Needs His Mother
Meanwhile, Erik’s mothers returns home and is distressed to find him gone with pictures of their old family cabin out. When she stops at the same gas station on her way to to the cabin, she’s even more upset when the clerk tells her Erik was with his ‘brothers’. At the cabin, Erik’s mother finds him covered in blood and in a panic. She assures Erik that he never killed his father – he left them years ago. And in the episode’s biggest twist, Mom tells Erik that he doesn’t have any brothers; he has made them up as part of his psychotic illness. There’s also no Monika tied to a chair. Erik stole a sign from the gas station and tied it to the chair. Everything that happened was in his head.
…she’s even more upset when the clerk tells her that Erik was with his ‘brothers’.
Worried for Erik’s health, Mom plans to drive him home, but has to stop at a gas station. As Erik waits in the car, he sees his ‘brothers’ again, pointing to a young woman filling up. They hold up a gas pump and lighter, egging their brother on. A smiling Erik obliges and the last thing we see is a giant ball of flame – a woman’s screams ends the episode.
Three Sick Brothers a Derivative and Predictable Episode
After a promising start, Bloodride’s second episode, Three Sick Brothers, slides into derivative, predictable storytelling. In spite of some early uncomfortable tension, most viewers will figure out the ‘twist’ pretty quickly. And the tension is pretty minimal. Aside from some early moments that tease what may be coming, Three Sick Brothers feels pretty complacent, particularly for a 30 minute episode. Also absent in the second episode is the dark humour that worked so well in Ultimate Sacrifice. Ultimately, Decent performances and some clever foreshadowing can’t compensate for a tired horror trope. And this episode’s ending feels more tacked on than shocking.