Review – DEAD BIRDS (2004)

Blind buys are always the most dangerous, yet the most fun. On the one hand, you could wind-up with some piece of toilet fodder that you can’t even give to your dog as a Frisbee because you’ll be charged with animal cruelty. On the other hand, blind buys can yield excellent gems like Dead Birds.

A group of outlaws led by William (Henry Thomas) rob a bank and hole up in the Hollister farmhouse before leaving for Mexico. Not only do Henry, Sam (Patrick Fugit), Annabelle (Nicki Aycox) and Todd (Isaiah Washington) have to worry about Clyde (Michael Shannon) and Joseph (Mark Boone Junior) stealing their gold, but they have to contend with supernatural forces manifesting themselves in the house as the night wanes on. As the truth of what happened in the Hollister farmhouse comes to light the group soon learns that they have more to fear than each other.


Never one to expect much when I make blind buys, I was surprised to find Dead Birds to be a solid entry in the horror genre. Writer Simon Barret and director Alex Turner certainly know their stuff. The film is overflowing with an atmosphere of dread that thickens as the film goes on. The sight of the Hollister farmhouse sitting amongst a field with no visible paths leading to it is enough to let you know all is not well in the universe. The film isn’t bereft of scares either and I found myself genuinely frightened on a few occasions. The only aspect that brings the horror down just a tad is the at times dodgy effects.

Dead Birds is also graced with excellent performances from the cast without a dud in sight. Michael Shannon is undoubtedly the high point here (as he is in everything he’s in) and his Clyde is the perfect bastard that you can’t help but like.


Now, some fans might complain because the movie moves along at a leisurely pace. However, the unhurried pace works in favor of Dead Birds, allowing the film the perfect amount of time to reel the viewer in and ratchet up the tension. Bravo!

Dead Birds is a satisfying horror film that is certain to please the fans. Thick atmosphere, genuine scares, high tension and excellent performances are rarely found together in one package, but Dead Birds has all of them. So turn down the lights, crank the volume and watch Dead Birds. And don’t forget to check under your bed…

About Evan Romero

Evan Romero has been a horror fan since watching “Leprechaun” at the age of five. Aside from watching and writing about horror flicks, he delights in torturing friends with Z-grade movies. He’s also an unabashed Andy Milligan fan, God help him.

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