Following the exhausted formula of a group of unlikeable characters in a spooky place being killed one at a time by a supernatural force, Dead Birds failed to deliver any pleasurable thrills.
Opening with an homage to Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, wherein a group of Union soldiers rob a bank and head for Mexico, Dead Birds quickly lost momentum.
Dead Birds doesn't give the audience any credit for being familiar with the genre. It is no longer novel whenever a character goes off alone to investigate an eerie noise in the dark, spooky what ever. These scenes are always the same: after peering into the dark basement, closet, crawlspace of a plantation where the owner flayed and murdered everyone in a attempt to bring his wife back to life, the character decides it is safe and attempts to leave when "Bang!" something crazy happens and the body count moves up a notch.
Beyond the opening shoot out, it seems that this group of well armed, sociopaths quickly lose all of their survival skills. Watching them defend themselves as a group would have been more entertaining than seeing them get picked off, one-by-one as a result of their denial.
Turner clearly wasn't interested in trying to be interesting or original. Even the "jump out of your skin" moments were unscary, featuring a series of toothy demons that could have been the same one:
Suddenly, I am feeling sleepy! Perhaps I was too harsh with Dead Birds; thinking about it is apparently enough to send me off to the Land of Nod. I wonder if there is a sequel?