Bereavement (film)

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Directed by Stevan Mena
Produced by Steven Mena
Written by Stevan Mena
Starring Michael Biehn
Alexandra Daddario
Brett Rickaby
John Savage
Spencer List
Valentina de Angelis
Nolan Gerard Funk
Kathryn Meisle
Peyton List
Music by Steven Mena
Cinematography Marco Cappeta
Edited by Steven Mena
Crimson Film
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release dates
  • July 16, 2010 (2010-07-16) (Long Island Expo)
  • March 4, 2011 (2011-03-04) (United States)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million

Bereavement is a 2010 American slasher film starring Michael Biehn, Alexandra Daddario, John Savage and Nolan Gerard Funk. It is a prequel to director Steven Mena's previous film Malevolence, and centers on a child who is abducted and forced to bear witness to a madman's crimes.


Martin Bristol, a young boy with congenital analgesia, is kidnapped by psychotic Graham Sutter. At his farmhouse, Graham cuts Martin's cheek then proceeds to butcher a captive young woman in front of him. Martin attempts to escape and makes a run for freedom, but Graham catches him and returns him to the farmhouse, where he continues to hold him and future female victims captive.

Over the next five years, Graham brutally butchers several young women forcing Martin to watch. Graham is seen throughout the film talking and arguing with a skull of a bull hung on his wall of the farmhouse.

Allison comes to live with relatives in the town where Graham is committing his crimes. While out for a run, she sees Martin from the window of the supposedly abandoned farmhouse. During her run she is almost hit by a truck and falls on the road. There she meets a local teenager, William, and the two bond and form a relationship of sorts. One night, her uncle Jonathan discovers her about to have sex with William and intervenes.

The next day, Allison goes to the farmhouse after again seeing Martin in the window and is captured by Graham. When Allison doesn't return home, Jonathan gets concerned and drives to the farmhouse in search for her, but is killed by Graham. William drives by and sees Jonathan's abandoned car and becomes curious. He investigates and discovers Allison trapped inside a locked meat room, but he is also killed by Graham. Allison manages to escape and rescue a mute, blood-covered Martin.

Meanwhile, Graham takes Jonathan's body to his home where he kills Jonathan's wife, while their young daughter hides upstairs. Allison arrives at the house just as it has been set on fire by Graham. She stabs Graham twice as he was about to kidnap her young cousin, and he flees. As Allison calls the police, she is stabbed in the stomach repeatedly by Martin, who has now inherited Graham's psychopathic behavior. Martin goes upstairs to Allison's cousin, and her scream is heard. The house burns down. Martin returns to the farmhouse and kills Graham with an ax. The next morning, the authorities arrive at the smoldering ruins of the house, where the Millers' beagle is the only survivor.

Martin uses bones from Graham's remains to construct a skeletal shrine in the farmhouse, using the bull skull as the head. Martin is then seen staring out the window, waiting for his next victim.

In a post-credit scene set five years later, a young girl (Courtney Harrison from Malevolence), flees from an unseen pursuer. She enters the farmhouse and discovers an adult Martin sitting at a table. When she asks for help, Martin turns around with a deranged look and the film ends.



During post-production, director Stevan Mena's initial cut of the film was three hours long. Things cut from the film included overtly gory scenes. The film is a prequel to Malevolence, stating "The only way to describe it is like an epic horror story. It's more in the vein of The Shining, whereas the original was kind of like Halloween or Friday the 13th. Bereavement is more of a character study".[2]


The film was shown at the Long Island International Film Expo on July 16, 2010.[1] The film was released in theaters on March 4, 2011.


Bereavement has received mixed to negative reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 44% "rotten" rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 4.9/10 based on 15 reviews.[3] Dread Central's Steve Barton gave the film a 3 out of 5 stars and said, "Fans of Malevolence will most likely eat this one up because 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. We just wish there was an equally as successful editor to go along with it."[4]


  1. ^ a b "Long Island International Film Expo". Long Island International Film Expo. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Gingold, Michael (2 February 2010). "Director's update on Malevolence sequel Bereavement". Fangoria. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Bereavement". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Barton, Steve (3 March 2011). "Bereavement". Dread Central. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 

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