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Film / Bereavement

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Bereavement is a 2010 horror film directed by Stevan Mena, starring Michael Biehn, Alexandra Daddario, Brett Rickaby, John Savage, and Nolan Gerard Funk. It serves as a prequel to Mena's 2004 independent film Malevolence.

In 1989, Martin Bristol, a young boy diagnosed with congenital insensitivity to pain, is abducted from his home by serial killer Graham Sutter (Rickaby), who keeps Martin captive in his basement, forcing the boy to watch him mutilate his many victims. Five years later, Allison Miller (Daddario), a teenage girl who lost her parents, goes to live with her uncle Jonathan (Biehn) and his family, and she soon crosses paths with Sutter and Martin.


This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless: Martin was abducted by Sutter while his mother wasn't paying attention to him.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Allison falls for William.
  • Asshole Victim: Sutter is killed by Martin.
  • The Atoner: Sutter is a twisted example. He's going around killing women out of a need for redemption over killing the cattle he took care of.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sutter is seriously unhinged.
  • Break the Cutie: Allison gets subjected to this after she gets taken captive by Sutter. It culminates with her being stabbed brutally to death by Martin.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Most of Sutter's victims meet grisly ends, but of particular note is Melissa who is burned alive in an oven while her leg is impaled on a meat hook.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Sutter seems to care about Martin in his own twisted way and his psychosis is implied to be the result of his father forcing him to kill the cattle he grew attached to.
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  • Feel No Pain: Martin has CIPA, which caused Sutter to fixate on him as he believed Martin was soulless because of it. Which becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy as Martin does snap and become a Serial Killer, but only because of Sutter's horrific abuse.
  • Good Parents: Jonathan and Karen are nothing short of nice, well-adjusted folks, a notable contrast to Ted and Sutter's father.
  • Missing Mom: William's mother committed suicide when he was a boy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Allison doesn't seem to know what a bra is; at a few points, her nipples are visible under whatever top she happens to be wearing.
  • Nice Guy: William. Too bad he ends up killed by Sutter when he tries to rescue Allison.
  • The '90s: Most of the film is set sometime in this time period.
  • Papa Wolf: Jonathan is very protective of his niece. It sadly ends up getting him shot and killed by Sutter.
  • Troubled, but Cute: William, Allison's Love Interest who takes medication for some kind of psychological problem.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The film begins with a flashback of Sutter abducting Martin from his yard and later cutting the boy's cheek with a knife.