A laundromat becomes a blood-soaked nightmare in Bloodwash

Content warning: This article discusses Bloodwash’s themes of gender-based violence.

The walk from my third floor apartment to the ground floor laundry room is one of my least favorite things. A narrow concrete passageway leads to a flimsy wooden door, rigged with three locks because you never know who might try to get in. My partner would rather jump from the roof than go down there alone. Who wants to get murdered next to a pile of your own underwear?

It’s this mindset that Bloodwash, an indie horror game set primarily in a late-night laundromat, taps into to occasionally great effect. Taking major inspiration from Italian giallo films, a horror genre prevalent from the ’60s to the ’80s that commonly followed alienated women being violently hunted by slashers and plagued by psychological or sexual trauma, Bloodwash sets itself apart from the other indie frights—if you can stomach its often exploitative tropes. Wrapped in a visual style reminiscent of PS1-era graphics, plus a fuzzy VHS tape filter, it’s a game that successfully pays homage to a bygone era.

(Image credit: Torture Star Video)

You play a young woman named Sara with a lazy drunk for a boyfriend and a baby on the way. She needs clean clothes for a make-or-break job interview tomorrow, but someone didn’t bother to do the laundry while she was at school. So it falls to her. Of course the way to the laundry is a dilapidated concrete tunnel, and it turns out the building’s washing machine is busted anyway. 

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