Dead Birds Review
Plot:When a gang of bank robbers decide to hole up inside an old plantation house after pulling off a bank heist, a night of sheer terror is unleashed, and the dark secrets of the house are revealed.
Nicki Lynn Aycox,
Mark Boone Junior,
My thoughts:Nicely done supernatural horror. Really captures what the supernatural sub genre is all about.
Review:I had read alot about this film before it's release, and from what I had read, I got the feeling that it was going to be totally different from any other supernatural horror film I had ever seen. The film from early reviews and it's trailers, seemed to have captured some real frights, rather than relying on cheap scares ala "White Noise" or "Boogeyman".I certainly got what I bargained for after popping this baby into the DVD player and watching it. The film revolves around a group of bank robbers, 4 guys and 1 girl, who hit a bank in town right around the time a small group of confederate soldiers are making a drop off of gold to the bank.This is a period piece/horror film, which takes place in Alabama in 1863. The heist goes off as planned, with the exception of one of the gang getting a bullet in the arm. The plan is to hide out for awhile until morning and then ride to Mexico. A short while afterwards, the group arrives at their temporary hideout, the "Hollister place". The leader of the group Sam had the house given to him by old man Hollister before he died. It's obvious just by looking at this old gothic plantation house, that it has a dark sinister history. Kudos to the filmmakers for picking quite the evil looking little house for this movie. What I liked about this film was the tone of it was set right from the opening credits, and is set even more when our band of thieves arrive at the Hollister mansion.Our main baddies in the film are disjointed disproportioned looking demons. We get an early look at one of them when it attacks one of the men as the group is making it's way through a large cornfield and gets shot dead in the process. The demons in the film are basically a replica of the night terrors from "They", Only much larger,with sharp teeth, and with albino white flesh. "Dead Birds" does a great job at building suspense, even before our gang of rogues enter the gothic house. Once inside, the film uses a nice mix of atmosphere and music to keep your interest and build suspense. The eerie inside look of the house, mixed with the thunderstorm and the ghostly chatter of things we know aren't human really does a great job at creating a creepy feel while watching the film. It also doesn't hurt that human greed,paranoia, and mistrust come into play since theres a large amount of gold which has yet to be divided up between the 5 of them, and everyone is watching everyone to make sure they don't get any ideas of escaping with it.Upon investigating the house further, they learn that it holds a dark,evil past. One which connects to it's former owner, old man Hollister. "Dead Birds" spends alot of it's time having the characters trapsing around this old gothic mansion finding things here and there which really make you the viewer want to know more about this houses sinister past. While watching characters trapsing around a house might sound boring and actually be boring as proof when you watch a film like "Boogeyman", what sets "Dead Birds" apart is it's atmosphere and nice usage of little clues to create a twisted mystery, which you actually care about the characters eventually getting to the bottom of. Little by little the main characters start to unravel as they see ghastly apparitions and a few vanish mysteriously at the hands of the creatures lurking about in the cornfield in front of the house. The film breaks down into paranoia mode as the ghosties claim more victims, the gold vanishes mysteriously, and trust breaks down between everyone including 3 members of the 5 person group who had seemingly the strongest bond. The ultimate reveal as to what took place in the house,why,how, and how it connects to the supernatural entities residing on the land now is the icing on the cake of this sinister,eerie, and chilling ghost story, and does not disappoint. It's also awesome in the fact that it comes out of left field but at the same time connects perfectly with the story. The film is ruined a bit though by it's twist ending which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, no matter which way you try and disect it. It seems like they were aiming for a big twist to end the film, which only resulted in confusion. The twist however leads to an ultimate ending which hints at a sequel. I just hope someone can clue me in on exactly what the heck happened at the end before and if a sequel is made.
Pros:Great atmosphere,good ghost story, eerie looking antagonists, and some pretty good performances make this film worth your time.
Cons:The what-the-hell-was-that? twist ending. I would've also liked to have known what the ultimate goal of the films baddies was.
Overall:"Dead Birds" which is a DTV/DVD release, I think is this years best horror film so far. It even beats out "The Ring 2" on many levels. It's a genuine horror film, filled with everything that genuinely frightens and instills fear in a person.Should you give it a rent? Absolutely.