Bereavement is writen, edited, produced, directed (and composed) by Stevan Mena. Frankly it's a wonder he had time to shoot a film, let alone shoot a good one. It starts off with fairly formula stuff, as an unusual kid is abducted, and pretty teen Allison (Alexandra Daddario) is shown moving in with her Uncle's family in the countyside after the death of her parents.
We get all of the formula ingredients, from a handsome local rebel befriending Allison to her Uncle's chagrin, and some brutal murders of missing women at the hands of the local psychopath - all signs pointing towards a typical 'girl falls foul of psycho and has to escape' cliche.
Indeed, for a good two thirds of the movie it looks like it's heading that way, with even the intelligent heroine making a few silly decisions. However, the highly dramatic direction, powerful and dramatic music score, and some very brave writing raise it WAY above the grade in the final third.
Easily one of the most startling, relentlessly terrifying and genuinely shocking films I've sat through in recent years, it's clear the director sat down and decided to write a film in which all bets were off, and then somehow convinced people to actual let him keep it that way. A genuinely freaky and scary psycho, hard to watch and gory violence, sub-plots that are unveiled more and more the closer we get to the climax, and real surprises.
Give this excellent indie chiller a try, and then keep your eye on its director. You'll be glad you did.