Thursday, February 24, 2011

Insomniac Theater Presents: Dead Birds (2004)

If a movie as slow paced, poorly developed and predictable as Alex Turner's Dead Birds doesn't nod me off, it is time to start looking at chemical sleep aids.

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:



Barn thing
Family Dog

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?


Toon said...

No, you weren't too harsh. It was a crapfest I actually paid to see on-demand.

Katharina Bluhm said...

I totally agree with you about everything, but nevertheless, that film scared the shit out of me, just because of the 'toothy demons' :D I think it was hard stuff. I can't even look at the pictures here without shivering and I am not a person that is easily scared by such things. Damn, if this film would've used ALL his potential, I think I would've died of a heart attack :D