Reviews & Counting
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The Roost(2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Ti West

Tom Noonan/The Horror Host
Karl Jacob/Trevor
Vanessa Horneff/Allison
Wil Horneff/Elliot
5 10
Four criminally boring teens on their way to a wedding get into a car “mishap” and wind up stuck at a spooky barn. Horror pours in the place and they go through hell.
The first words out of my pie-hole when coming out of “The Roost” were: “I didn’t get it”. I had been yearning to see this film for a while now, had read the countless positive reviews out there and was expecting to have a blast and a half. Didn’t happen; what I got instead was one of those detached watches, you know where you’re there but at the same time you’re not? Yeah one of those...

The Roost did lay a couple of golden eggs along the way though! West’s stripped down visual style appealed to me right off the bat, with an attractive grainy feel, a sly use of under lighting and an artsy like flavor kicking into high gear at times. Where some Indie genre directors will try to cover up their lack of che-ching in various ways (that usually don’t work), West was smart and brave enough to embrace it. He used what he had and sprinted as far as he could with it all. Got to respect that! The result was a very bleak and  unorthodox looking picture that went on to woo me via its rawness & unique rhythm. Who says you need a lot of dough to make a good looking genre film? Other highlights at this barn party were the occasional gory goods, the efficient bits of tension, one slick-ass final shot and the (too) random moments of ultra violence (they teach that cop a lesson old school). The flick came to life for me when the ugliness arose! I would've loved more of it! Finally I truly enjoyed the campy wrap around story which showcased a tip top shape Tom Noonan as a horror TV host who commented on and controlled the happenings. Pretty damn clever! 

Sadly for my antsy in his seat ass, even with all of the positive joo-joo in tow, in the end, The Roost just didn’t cut it for me. The flick's biggest sin was that it DRAGGED ON way too much for my liking. It took eons for the film to kick in into high gear! And when it FINALLY did, it sported way too many overlong “suspense sequences” (that often led nowhere…bugh) and stretched out these kids staying in that barn to the point of disbelief (There’s a door and windows all over the place…just leave man!). It didn’t help matters much that the teen heroes were more boring than my petulant writing and frustratingly made all the wrong moves. I couldn’t have given less of a shite about them! Result; "bye-bye" investment in the storyline and "adios" tension. I didn’t feel them! Lastly the film’s vagueness as to what really was going down left me an annoyed Frat Boy. Were we talking rabid animals? Zombies? A supernatural entity? My landlord? What was truly going on here? Who knows? I'm all for ambiguity in certain films, but this one needed a clear cut answer in the name of giving me SOMETHING to hold on to. COME ON!

When all was said and Roosted over the camp fire, I wound up being mucho under whelmed by this throwback to the days of 80’s genre fun times. Now don’t get me wrong, there was talent behind the camera that’s for damn sure, but the whole of it just didn’t do much for me. So you going to Roost this Roost up the Roost like the Roost that it is or ask it to marry you?
We get munched up/messy faces, vicious beatings, a gun shot to the head and more that I won’t give up in the name of not spoiling things too much.
Tom Noonan (The Horror Host) was the highlight of the film for me where his dead pan delivery, unique aura and his groovy dialogue had me smiling every time he popped up. Karl Jacob (Trevor) had the more interesting role of the teen lot and interpreted it with gusto! Vanessa Horneff (Allison) bored me. Her delivery was sedative inspired to say the least…wake up girl! YOUR FRIENDS ARE DYING! Sean Reid (Brian) was efficient as the a-hole of the group while Will Horneff (Elliot) did okay with what he was given.
T & A
None. Wow that hurt to say being that this film is a throwback to 80’s genre schlock. That’s like eating a pepperoni pizza without the freaking pepperoni!
Ti West penchant for well executed bleakness so appealed to me! There were so many vibes in this flick! Art film, documentory, Sam Raimi throwback...West was all over the place...in a good way! He also knew how to milk/use his low budget for maximum impact and displayed skills in building up suspense. Good stuff!
The dark score by Jeff Grace and the array of creepy/freaky sounds at play gave me the heebie-jeebies! NICE!
Maybe my expectations played against THE ROOST where I was expecting a brash, campy fun time at the 80’s "tit shot" revival house. What I got instead was a purposely dragged out, dead pan, mostly un-scary and aloof exercise in blah characters & known genre conventions that more often than none brought me nowhere. I still say see it for its fly look, its seldom moments of horror “ouaaa”, Tom Noonan rocking the house and to make up your own mind about it. Who knows, you might dig it more than I did!
Executive Producer Larry Fessenden has a cameo in the film as a Tow Truck Driver.

The barn used in the film was the one used in Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (1964).

Being that I was one of the first to push the film online, Director Ti West thanked me in the “End Credits”. You’re welcome Ti!