Dead Birds (2004)

September 6, 2010 - 2:40pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Alex Turner, civil war, Dead Birds, Henry Thomas, hidden gem, Isaiah Washington, Mark Boone Junior, Michael Shannon, Muse Watson, Nicki Lynn Aycox, Patrick Fugit, period piece, underrated

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Alex Turner
Henry Thomas, Nicki Lynn Aycox, Isaiah Washington, Michael Shannon, Patrick Fugit, Mark Boone Junior, Muse Watson

Walking down the movie isle and checking out all the crappy direct-to-video cover-art you'd never guess that this little film would be a good one. Nope, most likely if you're like me you'll ignore the flashy covers of movies you've never heard of. Luckily I was sent a copy of this movie to review, and although I didn't expect a whole lot, I sure got a whole lot. I really enjoyed this movie.

Although it's slow-paced it manages to capture an effective mood and atmosphere that makes the film seem creepy without having to do much. Added with strange noises and fast visions of weird creatures and you've got yourself a successful low-budget DTV.

The movie's setting alone is fairly original for a horror movie. Instead of basing around present day, it's set during the Civil War era. The story follows a group of gun-slinging bank-robbers, who've recently pulled off a heist and are hiding out in an abandoned plantation farmhouse. With all the gold they can want, it seems as though their problems are over.

That is until they start hearing strange noises and see other-worldly creatures in and around the house. They begin dying off one by one in unexplained ways, leading to the crazy climax. When I first heard of this movie I thought I'd be dealing with just ghosts, but apparently there are weird creatures in the film as well. In the end it all comes together, leading even the ending not as predictable as most films now-a-days.

The gore was a big surprise for me. I didn't really expect there to be as much gore as there was; always a plus in my book. Watching the movie you might notice the male lead to be somewhat familiar. Well he played Elliot from E.T. This isn't his first venture in the horror genre -- he also starred in the horrible Psycho 4 as a young Norman Bates. Muse Watson also had a part in this film as "Father", who you may or may not remember as the killer from the predictable I Know What You Did Last Summer movies.

A good direct-to-DVD. It manages to have a solid creepy atmosphere and some decent scares thrown in. Definitely worth a check.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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