HOUSE OF BLACK WINGS
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and Michael Klug
What's it about
A missing rock star moves back to her hometown to live with her friend in her apartment building. Nightmares, flashbacks, weird writers, little dolls, and mysterious noises all make appearances.
Is it good movie?
When a movie starts with an Emily Dickenson quote, itís easy to expect immediately the movie to take itself seriously. ďNature is a haunted house but art is a house that tries to be haunted.Ē Ok, with that line you know a little about what to expect. Haunted house? Check. Arty-type stuff and people? Check. A humorless film? Yeah, but that isnít fair. Didnít mean it. But sometimes if a movie is slow, serious, and cerebral, then itís easy to yearn for a touch of humor here and there. Not that a movie canít survive without it, it just, well, nevermind. Moving onÖ
House of Black Wings is the true definition of a low-budget movie. Amateur actors, a loose script, loose editing. Times appear when the film flows with creepy, suspenseful moments that truly feel horrific. Other times, I kept checking the run time as I still had a monthís worth of laundry to do. But thatís the problem with amateur movies. They want to influence, to make an impact of their viewers but at times it ends up feeling forced. However, like all carefully paced movies (a nice word for being slow), it rewards viewers for sticking around as House of Black Wings only gets better and stranger as it continues. Throughout the film, a great haunting quality (and a perfect example of subtle music) that works great, that keeps an element of suspense even if nothing really seems to be happening for a long time. The horror will come, it just takes itís time to get there. Wade through the amateur quality and youíll find something worth sticking around for.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen presentation (looks like cheap digital).
Audio: Presented with the power of 2.0 sound.
Commentary: Director Schmidt, Asst. Dir. Chris Hyatt, and Dir. of Photography Clare Martin provide the track. I always dig indie commentaries. Theyíre pretty insightful and this didnít disappoint.
Making of Featurette: A 15 minute look at everything going on behind the scenes. Some nice text to enhance the basic footage.
Wrap Reel, Trailer: I think you know what these mean.
For your average Redbox viewer, skip it. But for true horror fans or folks who love some independent cinema, itís worth a shot for its good story, decent acting, and some f*cked up twists, turns, and gore.