I don't quite agree with Fangoria, that this film is an astonishing achievement of modern horror and that it is a horror gem. However, I will say that this film is an average horror movie. I thought it was going to be miserably horrible and a waste of an hour and 20 minutes, but it wasn't I enjoyed it. The basic premise is about a group of teenagers who get stranded at an abandoned farm where a vicious clan of vampire bats inhabit. The problem is that, when bit by one of these bats, the host turns into a zombie craving blood. I was very pleased in which this film was played off, the scares were very moderate with some pretty goon moments, but the technical aspects of this film were the real amazing part of it. The acting was moderate. Though, despite it's basic sense, I enjoyed watching film.
I want to first comment on the style that his movie was bases around. The style is that of a "Svengoolie Show," where a host greets and then introduced to the main feature, in this case, it's The Roost. However, as much I as I loved the introduction the whole lead up to the pre-show and presentations dragged on two much and started to bore me. Though, I did enjoy the Grindhouse feel that this movie presents, it involves intermission from the host, scratch marks, some cigarette burns and at one point the host rewinds the tape. I enjoyed I because it makes you feel like your watching it either on TV or during some outdoor horror fest. Accompanying the Grindhouse feel, the ending, not of the actual feature The Roost but the ending of the whole movie, is a surprise ending in itself.
The acting of this movie was average, with an average balance of both good and bad acting; however, I think that there was a slightly greater amount of good acting. There were great performances by Karl Jacob, Vanessa Horneff and Sean Reid, and you can't forget Tom Noonan as The Horror Host, whose performance as The Ripper in Last Action Hero was amazing. The actors and actresses seemed really dedicated to the role but there were points, mostly near the end of the movie, their performances started to dim down a bit. They seem dedicated, but they sometimes they don't really put that much effort into it. But I will comment on the good acting, when the actors and actresses did a good job of acting, they were very believable as real people with some very real emotions.
The scares were also very moderate in this film. Granted, some of the bat attacks, zombie attacks and creepy sounds were scary, I still have yet to be really scared by bats. I wasn't even a fan of the movie Bats. However, I think the only real effective horror was the zombie scenes and maybe on bat scene and that scene only had a chilling sound effect to it. There were some great "jump-out" scares as well as creature scares, but for the most part I wasn't really a fan of its overall scare-factor. Though, I will give them credit for being original in connecting vampire bats with zombies.
Now, for my favorite part of the whole movie, the technical aspects of this film were amazing, something that I don't see that much in independent movies. What I particularly enjoyed was the lighting; it had the feel of a Creepshow movie, with high contrast colors and some strong primary colors. It gave me the sense of being trapped in darkness and enhances the stylization of this film. I could compare the contrast to Sin City as they both have some really great shadow effects. Creepshow-wise, they utilize strong reds, yellows and natural lighting, mostly demonstrated through the beginning car scene and while in the barn. The cinematography was very well thought of, as it used some great ending shots and establishing shots as well as some okay transitional shots. The mostly focus with the scenery and the darkness of the movie. The editing was choppy, though I enjoyed it because it fit with all the other technicalities, and as a result of all of these aspects coming together, you get and unintentional devotion and tribute to comic book style film-making and art.
Overall, this film was very average in the way that most independent movies are; the acting was okay but for the most part there were some good performances, the movies storyline was unique but it was unique for using recycled material into something worth watching and scares were somewhat predictable, aside from some creepy sound effects. However, as far as indie films go, the technical portions of this film were amazing. I would recommend this film for horror fans, as well as those who enjoy Bat movie, but not for zombie lovers. There weren't that many zombie parts. If you enjoy indie movies, this is a movie that you must rent, but if you want something to really scare you; you may want to pass it up on the video rack. As for me, I thought it was a fun movie and I enjoyed watching it, I enjoy indie films whether they are bad or good.
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