20 March 2006 | BA_Harrison
Not bad, but not great either... a wasted opportunity!
In the wonderfully bloodthirsty opening to Dead Birds, a gang of ruthless criminals hold up a bank, killing everyone inside and getting away with a fortune in Confederate gold. They travel to a deserted farmhouse, where they intend to spend the night, before travelling to Mexico to share their ill-gotten gains.
But, in the tradition of many a horror film, this particular house is home to some hideous demons, unleashed by the owner in a black-magic ritual gone wrong.
Director Alex Turner is content to take his time building the tension and setting the mood, and this is perhaps his undoing; by the time he is ready to unleash the demons and let the horror truly begin, the audience has had to sit through far too much chatter from the thieves and watch their aimless wandering around the spooky old house. A few effective shocks (using pretty good CGI FX) are thrown in to liven up the proceedings, but it just isn't enough even a few more gory moments do little to improve matters.
After a promising start, I thought I had discovered a real treat. Alas, it turned out to be nothing more than a so-so affair.