SXSW Film Reviews

THE ROOST

D: Ti West; with Tom Noonan, Karl Jacob, Vanessa Horneff, Graham Reznick, West.

Narrative Feature 'Round Midnight

"Dos Blokes," Brian Clark's one-laugh short film about bulimic zombies, sets the perfect tone for The Roost, a self-deprecating homage to B-movie horror films. The set-up is achingly stereotypical: Halloween night, four friends stranded on a country road are attacked by a swarm of bloodthirsty bats who, after attacking their victims, turn them into murderous zombies (as if there are any other kind). As the tension builds in West's brilliant little horror film, we come to realize that we, like his characters, are entirely at his mercy. He has deft control over each scene: Sound effects are wielded like frightening little jabs in the gut, gore is only used when absolutely necessary, and the camera only allows us to see what he wants us to see, à la, dare I say it, Hitchcock. Yet there's more then just a repetition of the old horror masters here – there's an original style.

Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, 12mid

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