Friday, October 6, 2006

The Roost (2005)

This movie was absolutely awful...dull, formulaic and derivative. Some people are gushing over it, which leads me to ask, did we even see the same movie?

It begins with four friends driving to a wedding on Halloween night. They have taken a shortcut through the countryside, but soon have some car trouble. The trouble comes in the form of a bat that swoops down, startling the driver, who then swerves off the road into a ditch. With the car out of commission, the friends walk down the road to the only house for miles around. Of course, no one is home. Two of the guys (Trevor and Elliot) decide to walk further down the road, while the remaining guy and gal (Allison and Brian) stay at the house out of pure laziness. On the road, the guys find a cop who drives them back to the house. Meanwhile, Allison and Brian are still at the house when Brian decides to explore a huge barn out back. When Trevor and Elliot arrive back at the house with the cop, Brian is missing. The kids go into the barn, but soon realize there is something roosting in there...killer vampire bats!! They soon discover that if bit by a bat, you will come back as a zombie. Can the kids escape the bats?

The filmmaker (Ti West) was trying to acheive a bare-bones look and feel in this film and succeeds, but in all the wrong places. The dialogue is weak, the story is threadbare and boring and the shots are monotonous. There are no surprises or shocks, which I believe is a necessity for a horror film. No real action happens until about an hour into the movie (the running time is only 1 hour and 20 minutes), and even then it is minimal and boring. If West was trying to slowly build suspense, he failed miserably. There is no suspense whatsoever in the movie. Also, I hated the characters from the beginning and had no emotional connection to them. They were annoying and the dialogue did nothing to build characterization. The actors themselves were incredibly awkward and didn't sell their characters. Netflix called this film "gory," but there is very little blood in the movie. It shows vampire bats attacking a few victims and a few zombie attacks, but no real gore. I was actually shocked at how little the movie showed.

The movie has a Crypt Keeper-type intro, which is bizarre. West was trying to make a film that was a throw back to those cheesy late night horror flicks, so he added this silly intro. I don't think he understood that this intro adds nothing to the film. Also, if this was an homage of sorts to those cheesy, overly dramatic productions, why isn't there more humor in the film?

As mentioned earlier, the camera angles and various shots are pretty repetitive. The length of time spent on the exterior shots is far too long. The camera creates no interest for the viewer. Also, the film is very grainy because the filmmaker wanted that independent, no-frills look. While this technique is ok, it still does nothing to enhance the movie. The only thing the cinematography of the movie enhances is the dullness factor.

If anything, this movie should have been a short. Had it been edited better, nixing all the extraneous scenes, it could have been cut down to 40 minutes or so. This was a weak, weak movie and no self-respecting horror fan could like this. The movie falls flat on its face and adds nothing to the horror genre. Possibly the most boring horror movie I've seen...

On Amazon!

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