Dead Birds (2004)
Judging solely on the cover and the no-name credits one might expect these to be one of thousands of shot-on-video’esque, cheesy monster movies that come out each year. This one, however, is a total standout!
Plot: “In Civil War-era Alabama, a band of outlaws takes refuge at an abandoned plantation after robbing a bank that held a cache of Confederate gold. Led by William, the group includes Sam, Todd, Annabelle, Clyde and Joseph. They intend to flee to Mexico, but nightfall and a thunderstorm force the robbers to remain in place. As the night wears on, each member of the group begins to have visions of the atrocities that occurred within the house. As supernatural forces begin to manifest themselves, the six turn on one another.”
I have been a dedicated fan of the horror genre for a long time, and I live for the discovery of new gems like this. Havings seen just about every horror piece out there, it’s not too often that I run into something new that tempts me to call my friends and family to let them know what i’ve just seen. The trend today seems to be towards hot teen stars and one focal CGI monster that offs them one-by-one in overly contrived and predictable ways. This is a welcome relief. Though there is a small amount of CG, it’s fleeting and isn’t thrown up in your face for extended periods.
This movie leaves just enough up to the imagination, providing you with brief yet absolutely horrific images and letting you fill in the blanks. Someone else compared this movie to ‘Session-9‘ and I would agree. The actors weren’t A-list but were quite good and the characters choice of action didn’t leave me scratching my head. The cinematography was also fantastic in contributing to the terror.
If you’re looking for a well made yet restrained horror film that goes for sheer terror over all else, with a nice touch of gore in all the right places, then you would be cheating yourself if you didn’t check this one out.
Director: Alex Turner
Cast: Henry Thomas, Patrick Fugit, Nicki Aycox, Michael Shannon, Muse Watson, Mark Boone Junior